Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) is a non-profit cultural institution. Since 1973, the Foundation continues its efforts to enrich Istanbul’s cultural and artistic life. İKSV regularly organises the Istanbul Festivals of Music, Film, Theatre and Jazz, the Istanbul Biennial, the Istanbul Design Biennial, Leyla Gencer Voice Competition, autumn film week Filmekimi and realises one-off events throughout the year. The Foundation hosts cultural and artistic events from various disciplines at its performance venue Salon, located at the Nejat Eczacıbaşı Building. İKSV also organises the Pavilion of Turkey at the International Art and Architecture Exhibitions of la Biennale di Venezia. Furthermore, IKSV conducts studies and drafts reports with the aim of contributing to cultural policy development. The Foundation also supports artistic and cultural production through presenting awards at its festivals, commissioning works, taking part in international and local co-productions, and coordinating an artist residency programme at Cité International des Arts in France, as well as the annual Aydın Gün Encouragement and Talât Sait Halman Translation Awards.

İKSV is a member of the General Assembly of the Turkish National Commission for UNESCO, for the year 2018.

The Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) has organized the Istanbul Biennial since 1987. The Istanbul Biennial prefers an exhibition model that enables a dialogue between artists and the audience through the work of the artists instead of a national representation model. The curator, appointed by an international advisory board, develops a conceptual framework according to which a variety of artists and projects are invited to the exhibition.

The most comprehensive international art exhibition organized both in Turkey and throughout the geographical sphere, the Biennial plays an important role in the promotion of contemporary artists not only from Turkey but also from a number of different countries in the international arena. A complementary educational program is provided both for students and viewers of art, while simultaneously translated panel discussions, conferences, and workshops are also organized within the scope of the exhibitions.