This publication presents the artist's new body of artworks named Lost Paintings Series. The Lost Paintings Series present Eastern figures in a fascinating navigation of history, power and narrative. Esma Sultan, Ceylan's depiction of an 18th century Ottoman Princess, renowned for her cruel disposition, draws on the empowering mythology of passionate, ruthless and assertive womanhood that characterizes accounts of her life. Visualizing feminine agency and even social transgression as at the heart of history, Ceylan interrogates the historically invisible. Rummaging through the past to make a startling comment very much about the present, the Lost Paintings Series assemble a cast of lost characters and voices that embody the many silenced by both Orientalist and official nationalist histories. An Ottoman man gazes defiantly, cigarette in hand; a pair of male lovers betray a chaste farewell; a veiled woman stands before Courbet's L'Origine du Monde. Ceylan began exhibiting work in 1991, in both a group exhibition, and his first solo exhibition, in Nurnberg, Germany.
Ceylan has participated in both the 8th and 9th International Istanbul Biennials (2003/5); Postcards From CAC at Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans (2009); Naked, Paul Kasmin Gallery (2009); Istanbul Next Wave, Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin (2010); and Istanbul Modern at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2011). His work is included in private and museum collections including Sveaas Art Collection and the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art.