About Ole.

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.

oleukena_studio moment-1

“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

Looked at.


*1983 in Germany
lives and works in Bali, Indonesia and Berlin, Germany


2004-2009 University of Fine Arts, Berlin / Class of Lothar Baumgarten, Hito Steyerl & Daniel Richter
2010 Master of Fine Arts with Prof. Lothar Baumgarten


“Hijacking Karma”, Stigter Van Doesburg Gallery | Amsterdam
“MIXOLOGY”, Numthong Gallery at Aree | Bangkok, Thailand

Paris Photo, Grand Palais | Paris, France
Des fleurs ne sont rien!, Galerie Odile Ouizeman | Paris, France
Giving Up Is Not An Option (Solo), Serindia Gallery | Bangkok, Thailand

Connected Creativity, Bangkok Arts and Culture Center | Bangkok, Thailand
It is always what you think it is, Thaillywood Artist Residency | Chonburi, Thailand

Hors Pistes, Centre Pompidou | Paris, France
Hetik, DST Gallery | Münster, Germany

Chambres a Part IV, La Réserve | Paris
Something Strange Happened Here, Taittinger Collection | Brussels, Belgium
Meisterschülerausstellung , University of the Arts | Berlin, Germany
Collaborative Communication, Ramanas Garden Gallery | Rishikesh, India
Souvenirs on Earth , Palais de Tokyo | Paris, France

Kunsthalle: Deutschland nach Portland, Homeland Gallery | Portland, USA
Chambres a Part III, La Reserve | Paris, France
FRESH, DasHotel Gallery | Berlin, Germany
Flashback (Solo Exhibition), DST Galerie | Münster, Germany
Absolventenausstellung, University of Fine Arts | Berlin, Germany
Ausgangspositionen II, DST Galerie | Münster, Germany
Clicks & Crayons, Ramanas Garden | Rishikesh, India

Loop Video Festival | Barcelona, Spain
Rundgang, University of fine Arts| Berlin, Germany
25frames, Spielraum Gallery | Berlin, Germany

Mmm,Berlin. Ääh, Kunst. Danke, gut. Okay, bis dann, Spielraum Gallery | Berlin, Germany
4. Berliner Kunstsalon, Art Fair | Berlin, Germany
Rundgang, University of fine Arts | Berlin, Germany
Fabrikneu, Spielraum Gallery | Berlin, Germany

Trauma & Art – shards of delineating absence, Spielraum Gallery | Berlin, Germany
Wanted , Galerie L´Espace | Berlin, Germany

Whatever this is, Premise Gallery | San Diego, USA

2012 Thaillywood Contemporary Artist Residency | Thailand
2009 Goethe Institut | Novosibirsk, Russia

2006 Founder & Creative Director of the Nonprofit Organisation CRE8 Foundation
2005 Founder & Director of Spielraum Gallery, Berlin


2011 Collaborative Art Workshops in with CRE8 Foundation in India & Thailand
2010 Collaborative Art Workshops with CRE8 Foundation in India,Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, Spain & Germany
2010 Ramana´s Garden School Rishikesh, India / Workshop leader Photography & Video
2010 Gymnasium Brandenburg, Germany / Art & Improvisation Workshop leader
2009 Goethe Institut Novosibirsk, Russia
2006 Guest Dozent at Hunsrück School, Berlin
2006 Videoworkshops for Youth, FEZ Berlin
2004 Assistant Art Teacher at Glen Avon Elementary, Los Angeles CA

2011 Breath of a Trumpet, 28’12″ (HD)
2009 Important message from a parallel universe, 2’36″ (HD)
2009 Planet Littlewonder, 10’29″, (HD)
2008 Through Kids Eyes, 45’00″, Documentary (HD)
2007 Spieltrieb On Tour, 42’22″, Documentary (HD)
2006 Dada Wegweg, 43’18″, Documentary (HD)
2009 Bad, 6’09″ (HD)
2004-2007 Don´t Worry, 3’51″ (DV)
2006 Mlif Reschlaf, 20’52″ (DV)
2004 Y+Y, 3’25″ (DV)
2004 IDABIBADI, 2’00″ (DV)
2004 H.T.S. vs S.T.H, 1’28″ (DV)
2004 Dualitäten des Seins, 1’00″ (DV)