Balkan Naci İslimyeli studied painting at the Marmara University Fine Arts Faculty from 1968-1972.
İslimyeli works with a variety of media including sculpture (made from photographs, texts, pictures, and found objects), installation, and performance. The main themes of his works are gender, folk traditions, memory, communication, and individual and cultural identities in Turkey. From the 1970s, his interest in cinema has led him to explore such subjects as synchronicity, montage, and the dynamic structure of space.
İslimyeli’s work frequently includes his own portrait and handwriting, because these both reveal the broad identity of a person. While examining his own position of being caught between the past and present and between the East and West, İslimyeli also compels the viewer to reconsider their own position within the cultural complexities of modern Turkey.