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Meet Hasan Kale, Istanbul’s Master of Micro Art

Picture of Feride Yalav-Heckeroth
Updated: 27 April 2018
Whether it’s a pumpkin seed, lentil, fishbone, or a piece of chocolate, Istanbul-based artist Hasan Kale will definitely use it as a canvas for his astounding micro-artworks. Get to know the unique artist who turned everyday tiny objects into something rather extraordinary.

It is a profound love for Istanbul that propels Hasan Kale to spend inordinate amounts of his time hunched over tiny objects, painting the grandest of moments. The moon rising over the Bosphorus on a watermelon seed, the historic city’s skyline on the delicate wings of a butterfly, or even a tiny panda on a sesame seed. Referred to fondly as Turkey’s “Microangelo”, Kale is an extraordinary micro-artist who creates beautiful paintings out of virtually anything, as long as it’s tiny.

With an impressive career that has already spanned more than 22 years, Kale has painted on more than 350 objects and is currently working on opening a museum to exhibit his tiny and spectacular works of art. Of course, the only downside is that you can’t really hang a micro artwork on the wall and admire it like a regular painting. Nevertheless, Kale has likely found a solution for that.

Born in 1959 in the city of Bursa, Kale was first introduced to the world of art at the age of five and by the time he went to school he was busy drawing portraits, and whatever was burgeoning in his imagination, instead of paying attention in class. Years later, and living in Istanbul, Kale had already established his career as a miniature painting artist while also dabbling in jewelry design. It was during this time that the artist gained an intense interest for the history of Istanbul as well as the many civilizations that occupied Anatolia through the ages.

When Kale began to test himself to see how tiny he could really paint, his micro-artworks were born, and much like delving into the tiniest details of the city he loves, his viewers began to also dive into the world of his small but magnificent art. According to Kale, his next goal is to paint Istanbul’s skyline on a single strand of hair.