Artist Sarkis shared the story of his new stained glass produced for Hrant Dink for the first time at his talk 'Approaching Hrant Dink's Stained Glass with Art History' on July 3, 2024 at 23.5 Hrant Dink Site of Memory.

Nayat Karaköse, Director of Programs at the Hrant Dink Foundation, welcomed guests with her opening speech, sharing the story of Sarkis' work 'Salt and Light', which was permanently installed at 23.5 after sharing the plans for the establishment of 23.5 with Sarkis in 2016. Nayat Karaköse reminded the participants that Sarkis, who created his work with the philosophy of creating a treasure out of pain, also exhibits his mirror work, which is a new contribution to the 23.5, emphasizing the site’s importance as a place of remembrance and contemplation, on which children left a colorful trace for the future. 

Sarkis started his speech by saying that he wanted to include certain images and people in the Venice Biennale in 2015 and that Hrant Dink came to his mind first. He said that he had this current stained glass piece he made for Hrant Dink in mind at that time, but he had not yet figured out how to reflect the image at the core of the piece as hopeful. For this reason, he recalled that he had made a stained glass piece based on the image of Hrant Dink's joyful state, holding pomegranates and handing out pomegranates.

Sarkis said that the pain inherent in the photograph taken by Ahmet Şık on the day Hrant Dink was murdered remained with him, that he had recently figured out how to remove that pain and started working on it and created his stained glass. Sarkis, who attaches importance to the concept of transforming pain into a treasure, argued that we should know how to look while explaining his journey of transforming pain with his stained glass piece and shared that he aims to make us forget which photograph he based his stained glass piece on. Sarkis explained that if we know how to look, we can see that stained glass exists as stained glass independently of the photograph it was based on and that we can see the honey-colored fingerprints and the desire to heal the pain in the initial photograph. Sarkis opened a space for us to rethink the piece by associating the stained glass piece with some works in the history of art and cinema, and said that the art pieces both keep history alive and live separately as unique pieces themselves.