Cutting-Edge Video Created Using Extensive CGI Skills

When two talented artists combine their skills, what arises is the potential for wonderful, captivating work. The remarkable work of Arda Yalkin and Hande Sekeciler, who form the collective Ha:ar, provide a testament to this:

“Assisting one another, we inevitably share ideas related to the work in question and
learn many things about the techniques the other one put to use.”
- Arda Yalkin

Combining their talents as CGI artist and sculptor, Yalkin and Sekeciler created an exquisite music video for their dear friend,
BILLUR’s new song, Poisonous Soul.

“As soon as we heard it, we both were very impressed. And we made that video you
watched with zero-budget as a side project.”
- Hande Sekerciler

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In order to learn more about the talented duo, we asked them a few questions.

THE PLUS: Hi Arda and Hande. First off, we’d love to get to know more about you. Can you tell us more about yourselves, and your collaboration?
Arda Yalkin:
Hi! I am a new media and CGI artist working and travelling between Istanbul, NYC and LA. I am involved in almost every field of CGI, mainly classical video, photography, 2d – 3d animation, vfx and generative art.

Hande Sekerciler: I’m a sculptor. I greatly admire classical art and delicate expression forms of Renaissance. In my work I try to procreate contemporary forms by combining new production technologies with classical expressions. You can easily notice the references to the classical sculptures in my work. I have been working with Arda for more than 10 years now, including the period we worked on our own solo pieces. Now, we produce collaborated art pieces.

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TP: The two of you call your collaboration, @wearehaar on instagram. What does this collaboration look like?
AY:
Assisting one another, we inevitably share ideas related to the work in question and learn many things about the techniques the other person puts to use. However, working together on the same art piece is quite a different matter. We both admire classical art and the craftsmanship of the period. We are not that into the generative digital art; rather, we use generative art pieces as tools to create our own aesthetic. I am responsible for simulations, light, texturing, rendering, compositing, sound and hardware.

HS: We try to create a new iconography by combining traditional art forms with current discourses and technologies. We both have similar tastes and objections when it comes to aesthetics and this makes it easier to produce together. We investigate how to combine contemporary art forms and technologies with the delicate craftsmanship of classical art but without falling under the spell of the ornamentation. In this respect, ha:ar is an experimental playground for me.

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TP: Since you travel between Istanbul, NYC, and LA…is there a specific city that you tend to reside in more? Do you feel more inspired in a particular location?
AY:
For the time being, our headquarter is in Istanbul. There is a thriving career for both of us here. We have a well-equipped studio, plus low production costs which cannot be compared with any other city with a community of art. On the other hand, we have made many contacts in the USA and have spent a considerable part of the year in NY and LA. All these cities have their own unique character, but I think I love LA the most.

HS: This is one of the questions people wonder and ask the most.To tell the truth, Istanbul can be very vague and chaotic. However, I think I owe my productivity to this very same chaos. NY is new to me, but it excites me a lot. The people in the art community are open-minded and easy to communicate and make friends with.

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TP: What did the process look like for creating BILLUR’s music video?

AY: To say the least, the process was rather new for us, but the song is amazing. We made the video while travelling between LA, NY, and Istanbul and our counterpart BILLUR was in London at the time.

BILLUR sent her facial mocap data after recording on her Iphone. We arrived in LA for the 18th Street Arts Center guest artist program where we met Jesus the dancer. We recorded his performance on our Mocap system and we finished our project while we were on our way to NY and then Istanbul.

HS: BILLUR is our very old friend. During her visit to Istanbul, she made us listen to this hit single of her album which she released after moving to London for her solo career. As soon as we heard it, we were both very impressed. We made that video you watched with zero-budget as a side project.

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TP: Aside from the song, where did you pull inspiration from for this particular project?
AY:
We decided to focus on the dream in a dream concept, which appears to be contemporary, but has a well-rooted background; you can trace back to Chuang Tzu. We depicted BILLUR as the character in the video, as a sculpture who sees herself in her dream. We used minimal hype colours and texture to ensure that the video wasn’t too dark.

HS: Our knowledge and expertise in classical art and the history of art are important sources of inspiration for both of us. As in our other works, you can see the sculpture-like characters, classical architectural elements, and old stories merged together with new ones.

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TP: The opening of the music video features a fibrous being- giving us an ethereal feeling. Tell us more about this design choice.
AY:
In the first scene of the video, we processed Billur’s model twice and with a fluid
simulation. We tried to symbolize the character falling asleep. In order to make the audience feel the sound with the very opening scene, we ripped out one of the figure’s torso and made those pieces move in accordance with the music. You can observe a closing of consciousness and gradual change of reality.

HS: We envisioned a dream where BILLUR’s character dreams herself in her dream. For that reason, the atmosphere and the colours are also dreamy. While building this mini universe that our character lives in, we set a minimalist perception that fits contemporary aesthetics.

TP: Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself or your work?
AY:
Ha:ar is neither an animation nor a production studio. We produce CGI paintings, large-scale and multi-channel videos, sculptures and so on.

HS: We are a duo that also continue to practice as solo artists, and we do not involve ourselves in commercial works like video-clips. This clip is a side project and a chance to work together with a dear friend of ours. However, we have some other music related projects in progress. If you follow us on social media, you can reach the other projects that excite us!

“We made the whole video with two MacbookPros, two IpadPros and two Iphones, that’s all.”
– Arda Yalkin