Inside The Red Mansion: Füsun Onur’s world of objects, care relations, and art

Nergis Abiyeva, Ceren Özpınar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Red Mansion, or Hayri Onur Yalısı, acquired by the artist’s family in the
1930s, has been home to the Turkish sculptor and installation artist Füsun
Onur and her sister İlhan for almost her entire life. It has a significant place
in the artist’s career as it houses not only her life, studio, and archive, but
also the affectionately preserved mementoes of her mother. In this article,
we explore the role of the Red Mansion and its concentrated materiality in
Füsun’s art and her relations with objects, her family, and her sister İlhan. We
examine four of her artworks, which we argue are based on collaborative
creativity and mutual care: Dollhouse (1970s), Counterpoint with Flowers
(1982), The Dream of Abandoned Furniture (1985), and Once Upon a Time
(2022). The interdisciplinary theoretical framework of our analysis draws upon
care studies, family sociology, object-oriented ontology, and psychoanalysis.
We propose that the Red Mansion and the objects therein are deeply connected
to the artist’s unique understanding of home and family, which defines her
work, evoking a caring world that values humans and nonhumans alike.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalImage & Text
Issue number37
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2023
EventHitting Home: Representations of the Domestic Milieu in Feminist Art - University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Duration: 14 Nov 202217 Nov 2022


  • Feminist art
  • women artists
  • Sibling Relations
  • Family Studies
  • home environment
  • Materiality
  • New Materialism
  • Affect
  • object relations
  • care ethics
  • care studies
  • matter
  • thing-power
  • emotion, affect, social science, social theory, affective turn
  • psychoanalysis


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