“I am not limiting myself to one medium. I simply can’t. I am constantly finding new materials in the countries in which I travel, encountering objects or phrases that can be transformed into specific, meaningful pieces. A good art work for me is like an open hand but you don’t have to shake it if you don’t want to. I am mostly idea driven but don’t neglect the aesthetic side of things. I rather use it is to catch the viewers attention and let him stay with the work for a bit longer and get him interested in what the piece is actually saying. I get bored by conceptual pieces that need a whole paper to be read first in order to understand. I try to give all puzzle pieces and cues that need to be linked together just with the materials and titles. Take that hand or just stare are it, both is welcome you can always come back and shake it and see what happens.” – Ole Ukena
A bit about the work
some FAQ and CV
Ole Ukena is a German conceptual artist that lives and works in Bali Indonesia and Berlin. Ukena interweaves a variety of media including text, sculpture, installation, drawing, photography & video.
Ukena’s diverse artistic practice is bound by a common thread of complex simplicity in which he constantly questions of the “is-ness” of our world. Drawing influences from art history, philosophy, spirituality and the various cultures he has lived in, Ukena explores the phenomenon of interrelating opposites.
He confronts the viewer with aesthetically interesting pieces and ever-changing diverse materials that reveal their underlaying narrative structure without imposing the viewer to read endless paragraphs about the concept, all information is usually given within the material and title.
Humor and irony are key ingredients in his work to form entry points that lead to deeper layers of meaning that are a commentary on the times we live in.
His works have been shown in galleries and museums around the world including: Centre Pompidou, Paris (2011); Paris Photo (2013); Giving Up Is Not An Option, Serindia Gallery, Bangkok (2013) : Hijacking Karma, Stigter Van Doesburg , Amsterdam (2015) among others and is found in various international collections.
As the founder of the NGO CRE8 Foundation, Ole engages professional artists and kids worldwide to create collaborative artworks. The workshops and exhibitions draw on collaborative creativity. This serves to verify the power and richness that lies in valuing diversity and authentic self-expression as opposed to conformity.