Sarkis, 1938

Rainbow, 2013

Istanbul-born artist Sarkis Zabunyan, better known by his professional name “Sarkis”, studied interior architecture at Mimar Sinan University. In 1964 he moved to Paris. Sarkis was awarded the French Ministry of Culture and Information’s Grand Prix National de Sculpture in 1991 and his works are on display at nearly 200 contemporary art museums in America, Europe, and Asia.

Sarkis produces in a wide range of disciplines including installation, photography, watercolor, and video. He is a versatile artist whose works are informed by such concepts as “memory” and “remembrance”.

Illuminated on the night of December 31, 2013, Sarkis’s installation “Rainbow” kickstarted the celebrations of Istanbul Modern’s 10th anniversary in 2014. Produced in neon and measuring 7.5 meters in height and 15 meters in width, the installation illuminated art and museum visitors throughout the year. “Rainbow” reminds us of the various states of art as a never-ending field of thought and action. It symbolizes the endless rhythm, excitement, and joys of life.

For Sarkis, art is always about new beginnings; there are references, but in the process of creating, all of these references disappear, giving way to fresh ideas. Defined by the artist as a “rainbow gaining momentum toward the Big Bang”, the installation constructs a parallel relationship between a miracle of nature and the excitement and uncertainties felt at the moment an artistic idea is born.




Neon tubes in 7 different colors and iron

Credit Line

Istanbul Museum of Modern Art Collection

10th Anniversary Special Project