A Kyiv-based company, OLK MANUFACTORY produces traditional and modern hand- woven rugs, tapestries, masks, unique art objects. Through her workshop, Ukrainian artist Oksana Levchenya, founder and CEO of OLK Manufactory, managed to create a new product, combining unique modern designs, folk ornament and traditional crafting technique. Vertical kylyms, produced in OLK Manufactory, are a landmark in the craftsmanship of Ukrainian carpet-weaving. An extremely intricate traditional technique, manual weaving, ranging back to the 16th century, has been preserved in OLK’s manufacturing process. Each stage of production – design, yarn-dyeing, intertwining by hand and steaming of the ready-made kylym – is realized directly in the workshop.
No machines are used in the kylym production process: ecological cleanliness of production and highly paid labour of masters are key concerns of the company. Tapestries and carpets are made of natural materials. The base of the kylym is hemp thread, the carpet cloth itself is made of dyed natural wool of Carpathian sheep or vegetable yarn from nettles. Hundreds of warp threads are stretched on a vertical loom and yarn is intertwined with warp thread by hands, creating a real treasure that can entice the most demanding connoisseurs and serves for many years, passed on from generation to generation.
OLK MANUFACTORY produces three types of woven articles: reproductions of old museum carpets and ancient Ukrainian flatweaves, a combination of ethnic patterns with symbols of modern pop culture, author's carpets based on Oksana Levchenya's own sketches. Each product at OLK Manufactory is unique and unrepeatable. Each of the carpets is produced in a limited number, from 1 to 15. And even each copy is unique, because it is handmade.
Oksana Levchenya, founder and CEO of OLK Manufactory
Oksana Levchenya-Konstantinovska was born in Bershad, the Vinnitsa region, Ukraine.
2001 – A. A. Bogomolets Graduated Kyiv Medical University by speciality of surgery
2001-2003 - surgery internship at the Oleksandrijska Clinical Hospital
2003-2005 - Clinical residency with work on a candidate's thesis on the topic «Complications of chronic and acute pancreatitis and operative methods of their treatment»
2005 – School of Architectural Design, Kyiv, Ukraine
Phillips Auction London (Indigo Chief) 2022
Sotheby’s Auction London (Collider 2011) 2022
2022 Homo Faber, Venice
2019 Revelations, Grand Palais, Paris, France
2019 Milan Design Week, “Modernism” (Creative Ukraine), Milan, Italy
2018 Dutch Design Week, Eindhoven, Netherlands
2019 Elle Decoration International Design Award Ukraine – winner
“Floor covering”, Synchronicity carpet
2019 Art Laguna Prize – Finalist
2017 London Art Biennale – winner
2017 Royal Arts Prize, Shortlisted Artists, London, UK – shortlisted
Royal Art Prize - shortlisted
London Art Biennale - winner
Art Laguna Prize - finalist
EDIDA - winner
2020 – Solo exhibition, on the occasion of the 27th Aniversary of the Independence of Ukraine. Gothic Hall, Brussel, Belgium
2018 – Non-existent tribes, Gallery Bursa, Kyiv, Ukraine. Textile sculptures, installations, video art
2017 – Find Your tribe and love them hard solo exhibition, Invogue Gallery, Odessa, Ukraine. Photo, textile art, tapestries
2017 – Art Ukraine Gallery “Quasi-Evolution”, Kyiv, Ukraine. Tapestries
2016 – Soul Searching, Bulgari, Kyiv, Ukraine
2016 – Soul Searching, Bogomolets National Medical University, Kyiv, Ukraine
2012 – Great expectations, FineArt Gallery, Kyiv, Ukraine
2011 – Warlike feminism, FineArt Gallery, Kyiv, Ukraine
2010 – Schastiye (Happiness) Luxury Gallery SadyPobedy, Odessa, Ukraine
2010 – Screenshot, Arsenal, Kyiv, Ukraine
2009 – SotsCapitalism, Ukrainian House, Kyiv, Ukraine
2021 – Art Fashion Days, Avant-garden Gallery, Kyiv, Ukraine
2019 – Milan Design Week, Modern_ism, Milan, Italy. Ukrainian Object Design
2019 – Revelations, International Fine Craft and Creation Bienale, Grand Paleis, Paris, France. Textile, hand woven tapestry, objects.
2018 – Art Laguna Prize 13th edition, finalists show. "Space cossaks", Arsenale, Venis, Italy
2018 – Modern_ism, Dutch Design week, Eindhoven, Nitherlands. Texlile, handwoven kilims
2017 – Royal Arts Prize, Find Your Tribe And Love Them Hard, London, UK
2017 – Lost&Found at Fondamenta degli Incurabili, Venice, Italy
2017 – London Art Biennial 2017, Soul Searching, winner. Gagliardi Gallery, London, UK
2015 – Art Kyiv Contemporary Soul Searching, Mystetskiy Arsenal, Kyiv, Ukraine
2014 – Art Kyiv Contemporary project Greed, Mystetskiy Arsenal, Kyiv, Ukraine
2013 – Art Southampton, NY, USA
2013 – ARTPALMBEACH-2012, Miami, USA
2012 – Art Kyiv Contemporary, Mystetskiy Arsenal, Kyiv, Ukraine
2012 – Kyiv Biennial 2012 - Arsenale 2012, " Mystetskiy Arsenal, Kyiv, Ukraine
2012 – Great expectations, FineArt Gallery, Kiev, Ukraine
2011 – Collider Art-Kiev, Arsenal, Kiev, Ukraine
2010 – Screenshot Art-Kiev Contemporary Fair, Arsenal, Kiev, Ukraine
2010 – Diktators for VogdeLenie, Ukrainian House, Kiev, Ukraine
2010 – Participate of " Ukrainian paradox", ArtByGeneva Fair, Geneva, Switzerland
2009 – Sotscapitalism Art Kiev, Ukrainian House, Kiev, Ukraine
2009 – Torn World project curated by Adam Nankervis Man Museum,
Bereznitska and Partners Gallery, Kiev, Ukraine
Oksana Levchenya-Konstantinovska was born in 1975 in Bershad, Vinnitsa Region, Ukraine in a family where medical practice has been a tradition. Even so, from the very childhood Levchenya has started being interested in art through exploration of the home collection of books that has included the history of art and the works of successful artists.
From the age of 17, however, for the sake of family legacy, she has begun to pursue the medical profession working as a junior nurse. In a few years later, Levchenya has moved to Kyiv, where she has entered A. A. Bogomolets National Medical University, and has taken a training route to become a surgeon. Yet, over the years of discovering who she really is, Levchenya has turned back to art and, in 2005, has graduated from the School of Architectural design in Kyiv.
A turning point in Levchenya’s artist career has been marked by the acquaintance with a renowned Kyiv city painter and graphic artist Alexandra Prakhova, member of the National Union of Artists of Ukraine. Sasha, as Alexandra Prakhova called herself, represented the dynasty of Prakhov in the fourth generation, has taught Levchenya the art of painting.
In 2009, Levchenya has been invited as a guest to the exhibition at Bereznytska & Partners Art Gallery, at that time curated by the Australian artist Adam Nankervis, nomadic museum MuseumMAN, where she has showed her paintings to Adam. The artist has appreciated Levchenya’s talent and has included her work to the exhibition Torn World that, later the same year, has been also exhibited in Ukrainian House in Kyiv, Ukraine. Since then, Levchenya’s works have been seen around the world in such notable art venues as ArtByGeneva Fair in Geneva; National Cultural-Art Museum Complex Mystetskyi Arsenal, FineArt Gallery, Ukrainian House, Bereznytska & Partners Art Gallery in Kyiv, Ukraine; Art gallery Sady Pobedy in Odesa, Ukraine; Art Southampton, New York; Gagliardi Gallery, London; ARTPALMBEACH-2012, Miami; Fondamenta degli Incurabili, Venice.
In 2017, Levchenya was awarded a Special Mention for Excellence at the London Art Biennale. The same year, the artist’s personal journey led her to another project that combined scientific approach and artistic thinking. Exhibition named Find your tribe and love them hard at Shcherbenko Art Center (Kyiv, Ukraine) is a manifest of social identity, first proposed by British psychologists Henri Tajfel and John Turner in 1979. The theory discusses a person's sense of belonging to a particular social group. Through the set of photographs, where Levchenya has worn ritual makeup of African, South African and Australian tribes, she has explored people’s eagerness to classify themselves as a specific group member and to be equated to a particular nation, occupation and gender.
For a while after, within the conceptual framework of anthropological approach of national cultural patterns, Levchenya has launched OLK MANUFACTORY. The Company produces traditional and modern hand-woven rugs and tapestries. OLK’s manufacturing process preserves an extremely intricate manual weaving technique, ranging back to the 16th century.
As well as earlier photography exhibition Find your tribe and love them hard, Levchenya’s new solo exhibition Nonexistent Tribes, held in November 2018 at BURSA gallery, Kyiv, has demonstrated her continuing interest in exploring the theory of social identity. Represented costumes and masks embody a mythological image of a person who doesn’t belong to any community, thus is released from stereotypes imposed by social principles. The most recent exhibition Totem of Recycling, which has begun around the same time as the previous, tackles the problem of over consumption and consumerist lifestyle of the modern society.
In March 2019, a reimagined Ukrainian kilim Space Cossacks, created by Levchenya’s OLK MANUFACTORY, has been shortlisted for the Arte Laguna Prize in the Design category.
The artist extracted the ornaments from the regional folk kilims of the 19th century and redrew them, blurring the line between the past and the present.