Meet the renaissance painting genius whose work is on show at a Lowestoft cafe
PUBLISHED: 17:31 28 January 2019 | UPDATED: 17:37 28 January 2019
Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk
It’s not every day you wander down to your local cafe for a coffee or pastry and stumble across an abundance of stunning, renaissance-style paintings.
That’s what greets customers at Lovestoft Cafe in Lowestoft town centre, whose walls are covered in stunning artwork that wouldn’t look out of place in the Louvre.
These hauntingly good pieces of art are the work of Hasan Tunc - artist, professional art dealer and restaurateur.
Born in Turkey and of Kurdish origin, Mr Tunc grew up in Sweden and began developing an interest in art when he was just five-years-old. Having attended art school in Paris during the early-1980s, he returned to Sweden to open his own gallery in 1987.
There followed a move to the USA, where he opened Middle Eastern restaurants in Texas and spent time as a fine art teacher at the University of Wisconsin.
Based in the UK since 2007, Mr Tunc lived in Brighton and Bath before settling in Lowestoft at the beginning of last year. Now his paintings are admired in this unlikely corner of Suffolk, sitting modestly in a cafe owned by his adopted son.
“I am a great collector of art but I am still painting,” said Mr Tunc, who is also a sculptor and gifted jewellery-maker. “I just love doing different things - I am what you would a call a workaholic!
“It’s nice to be able to bring my work to Lowestoft, to bring some culture to the town.
“I like all of them,” he says, when asked whether there is a work of art he is most proud of. “Some of the pieces with a Kurdish theme I have more of a personal attachment to.”
Despite enjoying success with his previous ventures, the 68-year-old’s time in the UK has not been without hurdles.
In 2015 a devastating fire tore through his Pomegranate restaurant in Brighton, losing him thousands and rendering the business unsalvageable.
But Mr Tunc looks back on the tragedy with startling positivity, an attitude he replicates when it comes to his outlook on the art world.
“The younger generation is more concerned with other things and in that sense there has been a cultural decline,” he added. “We do not create great artists any more, but I hold out hope that there will be a return to better days.
“You have to give people hopes and dreams - only artists can do that.”