Defne Ayas was the director of the Rotterdam-based contemporary art institution, which was founded in 1990 under the name Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art and has been named Kunstinstituut Melly since 2021, between 2012 and 2017. Defne Ayas launched a cooperation program with SAHA in 2012 to increase the visibility of artists and curators from Turkey in Europe. In line with the cooperation with Witte de With, as it was then known, SAHA support was provided to include artists and curators from Turkey for WDW Review, the organization's exhibition and annual publication.
Exhibition: Özlem Altın, “No Story, No”
WDW Review: Ahmet Öğüt, Özlem Altın, Binnaz Saktanber and Alev Scott
WDW Review: Erden Kosova and Övül Durmuşoğlu
Exhibition: Aslı Çavuşoğlu, “The World Turned Inside Out”
Exhibitions: Meriç Algün, “Prompts and Triggers”; Burak Arıkan, “Everyone for Themselves”; Sarkis, “The Treasure Chests of Mnemosyne”
Known as Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, the Rotterdam-based institution continues to work with its new name Kunstinstituut Melly in 2021. Founded in Rotterdam in 1990, Kunstinstituut Melly is an art institution designed as an art house with a mission to present and discuss ideas and work created today by visual artists and cultural producers, and it aims to develop an international shared culture through exhibitions, symposia, educational programs and various events. It aims to contribute to the field of contemporary art by making local and international collaborations and creating a new structure other than traditional models with its active programs.