Although the series doesn’t go as deep as recreating the brand’s name in Chinese, it does take on the concept of translating the brand’s name to its product or service. For example, ‘Car’ for ‘Ford’ and ‘Caramel Macchiato’ for ‘Starbucks’. The result: visual continuity across the series.
Gözetlik’s understanding of how global brands should approach foreign markets like China is accurate. He believes that to approach the market, there is a balancing act that global brands in China must achieve to be both successful worldwide but also show commitment and desire to be part of the local culture.
By arranging the words this way, the Chinatown series challenges observers to ask what it means to see, hear, and become fully aware, not only of a brand, but of how we interpret visual messages. ‘Chinatown’ also demonstrates our strangeness to 1.35 billion people in the world, when you can’t read Chinese.
About the designer
Born in Izmir, Turkey in 1977, Mehment Gözetlik graduated from Hacettepe University Faculty of Fine Arts in 1999 before moving to Istanbul three years later, where he currently resides. After completing his Masters degree at the city’s Bilgi University in 2008, he set up a collective platform called Antrepo, which lead to his participation in contemporary exhibition Art Beat Istanbul.
In 2010 he created a project called ‘Minimalist Effect in the Maximalist Market’ which was exhibited at Reason Design Emotion, a sub-theme of the Beijing International Design Triennial, alongside work by designers including Zaha Hadid, Norman Foster and Philippe Starck.
The ideas from this project were a source of inspiration three years later for Selfridges’ 2013 ‘No noise campaign’. His first solo show was in 2012 at Gallery Işık in İstanbul, and since then he has been invited to show in national and international group exhibitions. Some of his works are part of the permanent collections of the Hacettepe Art museum and his limited editions have gained attention by art lovers all over the world and have been sold in 52 countries.
Conception: Mehmet Gözetlik Producer: Handan Akbudak Neon Sign Maker: Asım Doğan Director of Photography: Emre Başak
For more on Mehmet's work, please visit http://mehmetgozetlik.com/filter/artwork/Chinatown