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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Osman Özcay (b.1963)

Calligrapher Osman Özçay, younger brother of calligrapher Mehmed Özcay, was born in Çaykara, in the province of Trabzon in 1963. He attended the same school as his brother Mehmet in Gerede and finished high-school there. After studying at the Islamic Institute in Erzurum for two years, he transferred to the Islamic Studies Department of Marmara University in Istanbul. He graduated in 1986.

In 1982, even though he did not have a special interest in Islamic calligraphy, he joined his brother when he first visited calligrapher Fuat Başar. He was suddenly attracted to the art and he started lessons in the script Thuluth the same day. He later received his diploma in the scripts of thuluth and naskh from his teacher.

When he came to Istanbul, he met M.Uğur Derman from whom he has benefited greatly throughout the years. Mr. Derman gave him some copies of Sami Efendi`s Jali Thuluth writings which were written for a public water fountain behind `Yeni Cami` (New Mosque) in Istanbul. These sources served as the most important guide in learning the script of Jali Thuluth.

In the first (1986) and second (1989) international competitions organized by The Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA) which serves as the secretaryship of The Commission for the Preservation of Islamic Cultural Heritage associated with the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, he received five awards, gaining second and third prizes in various scripts including Jali Thuluth and Thuluth. He won the first prize at the calligraphy competition organized by the Maktab al-Shahid Kuwaiti institute in 1997.

Osman Özçay has participated in personal exhibitions with his brother Mehmet Özçay in Istanbul (1996), Abu Dhabi (1998), Sharjah (1999), and Dubai (2003). He has also taken part in the exhibitions organized by IRCICA in association with the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing in Dubai 2003, 2004 and 2005. In 2003, he participated in the calligraphy exhibition in Tokyo and joined some other calligraphers on The Days of Arabic Calligraphy in Tunisia in 1997 and 2006. He has also participated in various exhibitions in Turkey and abroad.

Osman Özçay is producing works in the styles of thuluth, jali thuluth, naskh and muhaqqaq according to the classical approach. Throughout the years his pieces of calligraphy have entered museums and special collections.

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