Ole Ukena is a conceptual artist that interweaves a variety of media including text, video, photography, drawing & sculpture. Ukena’s diverse media work takes various forms, bound by a common thread of complex simplicity. This unfolding dance between challenging artistic practice and innocent questioning of the “is-ness” of our world defines the very essence of his works. Ukena’s dance often mesmerizes as the juvenile forms an unlikely yet impactful partnership with the spiritually refined. With a wink and a nudge, youthful, playful enthusiasm confronts buttoned-up “maturity”. Sometimes poetically narrative, and in other moments purposefully reduced, Ukena frequently uses language as a tool to build riddles that await completion in the viewer’s mind. His choice of material and medium becomes a metaphor that challenges the status quo. And as his childlike game continues the underlying message invites the viewer into ongoing personal reflection.
As the founder of 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.
“I am not limiting myself to one medium. I simply can’t. It’s a constant adventure, finding new materials in the countries in which I travel, encountering objects or phrases that can be transformed into specific, meaningful pieces. While my work often displays a strong conceptual nature, I am also very drawn to the intuitive. This balancing energy forces me to step out of my mind and just create. These forces are like my left and right hand. My works try to create a map of the human mind, in an attempt to tell a tale about the very nature of it with all its possibilities, limitations, irritations, and hopes.” -Ole Ukena