Ferhat Özgür

To Be Good and To Live

Meet Ferhat Özgür

About To Be Good and To Live


hough we know life goes on, as it always has and always will, it is with pained effort we have tried to slough off the hardship of these past two years.

The pandemic and all it has wrought gave us a new dimension to our chronic loneliness and entirely shifted our core sense of being. People have found themselves close to life’s deepest questions, those forced upon us by an isolating apocalypse.

Who am I?

How have we been transformed?

What is the value of goodness if we are alone?

What do we need in order to live a good life?

And just when we feel we can take a collective deep breath, as the world slowly blossoms seemingly into what it was before, we now face the horrors of neighbors killing each other, the darkening threat of nuclear and chemical weapons being unleashed – a potential world war.

What then is goodness?

Where is its place in the world now?

How can we reunite with those we lost?

Curated under four sections that manifest the zeitgeist, To Be Good and To Live features sixteen photographs taken in different periods and cities during the past two decades of Ferhat Özgür’s career. Engraving life and art in our memory through moments captured with his camera, the artist voicelessly answers the questions we hold in our hearts.


We travel alone at least once in life. Whether to a city or somewhere more desolate in the world, we are left in the stillness and quiet of solitude. But being solo does not only mean being physically alone – it gestures to an inner journey of coming to know and see oneself, before looking out again into the world, the society we inhabit, the people close to us.

Lockdown Diary

Sometimes solitude is forced on us, not chosen. We are in lockdown. It is in these moments we are most vulnerable to depression, boredom, despair. We know only the dark echo chamber of our minds. But for many, the suffering of these past years has birthed an awakening. When the tightly closed shutters open again, and the warm light pours in, the world will find in us someone new, someone touched and changed through suffering.

Children of the Rubble

Wars and the atrocities they inflict on the innocent are an endless human story. Civil war, world war. Biological, chemical, nuclear warfare. Steel, bullets. Ground, maritime, air, cyber. The details, settings, and nature of these conflicts may shift with time, but wars that incinerate populations and the earth always affect one the most – the children, and the generations that follow them. Nothing has changed.


But there is only so much we can achieve alone. Through an ensemble, through communion with others, the unbearable is bearable; weakness becomes strength; simple joys become deep pleasures. By listening, striving to understand, seeking common ground, we escape the threat of solipsism, and our joys are profounder because they are shared. It is through art that we may look outward and recognize the richness of other viewpoints and other experiences.

I think while I walk down the street and often ponder and create simply by looking at my surroundings. It must be like that because I believe that concepts will emerge from life.

Ferhat Özgür

Career Highlights

Major Solo & Group Shows

Museum der Moderne, Gallery Heike Curtze, MoMA PS1

Institutional Collections

ARTER, Centre George Pompidou, FRAC

Selected Reviews

Art Dependence Magazine, Mousse Magazine, Today’s Zaman, Mutual Art, Hürriyet


Religious and cultural tradition
Urban transformation
Migration and civil rights


Experimental Photography
Drawings and Watercolours

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