Zaida Oenema 1980

Lives in Den Haag. Works in Den Haag.
Represented by:

Galerie Helder

In my recent work themes like ‘silence’, concentration, focus, form, repetition and rhythm are important.

There lies a power in repetition (patterns or the use of a grid) and in perseverance within the process of making the work. I am using these elements in my search for stillness; stillness or silence during the making, but also for the spectator. With the word silence I don’t mean lacking human sound, but rather silence as an equivalent of inner peace and joy. Silence as a form of positive emptiness (from the inside) so that there is an actual space to be able see and perceive the things around you anew. This is why visual soberness has become more and more important to me. The Perfect Dot is the result of a ‘concentration- exercise’. It is a rol of paper of 10x1 meters, filled with small circles, with the goal of trying to draw the perfect dot in a grid of dots, without the help of a measuring tool or a grid line. Knowing that humans are not able to reach perfection, but often still strive for it. I don’t see my work only as an ‘abstraction’, but

more as a conversation or a musical score. Like a composition with a ‘continuo’ (the basis for a piece or the ‘grid’) in it. The human hand makes sure there is a ‘vibration in the form or melody’ (the nearly, not 100% perfect alignment in the spaces between the repetitions) because, even though I try to make it as perfect as I can, I am simply not a machine. With my works I want to create a moment for inner stillness. Or a momentum between the spectator and the work - as a kind of wordless conversation, something between speech and silence.

Market position


The power of repetition
"The ‘fieldwork’ of Zaida Oenema (1980, Groningen, The Netherlands) comes from an individual desire for stillness. The Fields series (2016-) involve works with parallel strips, tidily grouped, and works with more ‘natural’ fields, as though the wind has blown long waves into an overgrown pasture. The charred works of Burnings (2017-) are another closely connected series. They are reminiscent of the ‘perfect dot’, but are made with a soldering iron to burn holes in Japanese paper, which is soft, thin yet strong, and better-suited to resist burning than the thicker ‘sprig’ paper. For Zaida Oenema, her paper works are not pure abstractions, but rather musical scores. She creates mo(nu)ments of stillness. Thanks to their deeply driven simplicity, they converse wordlessly with the viewer." (abstract from the catalogue-text of the Paperbiennial 2018, Museum Rijswijk)
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Frank van der Ploeg
De kracht van herhaling
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Frank van der Ploeg

Market position

Publications / Articles 2018 - Interview by Walter van Teeffelen for 'Den Haag Direct' and 'If then is now' - Catalogue-text of the Rijswijk Paper Biennial 2018. Author: art historian Frank van der Ploeg - Article on my work by Alex de Vries for Mr Motley 2017 - Interview We Like Art (read online in Dutch) 2015 - Article by Menno Vuister on my work shown at RAM with Born of Concentration 2013 - Haagse Kunstkalender 2014 - MAGAZINE DH/// Stroom Den Haag, Interview and showcase work in section talent under 35 Nominations/Grants 2009 - Participation Dutch-Doc, promotion of Dutch Photography regarding the world-expo in Shanghai, China. dutch-doc, Fonds bkvb - Nomination Live -pitch for ‘Call Slovakia’, artist in recidence, Fonds bkvb - Material grant, for graduation show MFA by Vrijvrouwe van Renswoude te Den Haag 2007 - Participant Bouw in Beeldprice 2007 2004 - Stroom-price for up and coming artists 2004 - Nomination Young Talent Art-Olive 2003 - Nomination Fotoprice Verbond van Verzekeraars


Education 2007 - 2009, Post St Joost, Master Photography, Breda (MA degree) 2000 - 2004, Royal academy of fine arts, Den Haag, department photography (BA degree) Exhibitions 2019 - Drawing Festival, Galerie Helder, September - Galerie Helder, Art Amsterdam KunstRAI, April - Contemporary Contemplations V, ACEC, 11 May - July - Art Rotterdam / We Like Art, van Nelle factory - Contemporary Contemplations #4, PHK18, Rotterdam 2018 - Contemporary Contemplations #3, Kunsthaus Erfurt - Papierbiennale, Museum Rijswijk - Contemporary Contemplations #2, Projectraum Kunstquartier Bethanien, Berlin - Contemporary Contemplations #1, Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam - Kunstparade, guest artist at gallery Untitled, Rotterdam 2017 - Secret Postcard sale, We Like Art, Westergasfabriek Amsterdam - Big Art, De Zonnewijzer, Herengracht 182, Amsterdam - Stilte in Beeld, Den Haag - Art Rotterdam, Up Memory Lane, 30 Years of Berry Koedam, RAM Rotterdam - We Like Art, Rotterdam - The Sound of Silence, exhibion with Lenny Oosterwijk at Untitled 2011, Rotterdam 2016 - Affordable Art Fair Amsterdam,26-30 Oct 2016, Amsterdam-Noord - ArtTheHague, artfair, Fokker terminal The Hague - Up Memory Lane RAM 30 years (part2), exhibion at RAM, Rotterdam 2015 - VBCN- 10 jaar jong, exhibion at VBCN Open, Amsterdam - Born of Concentration, Solo at RAM, Rotterdam - De Waarde van Kunst,exhibiton & educationproject by art-platform de Meerse, Hoofddorp - Art Fair BLOOOM, Colonge, Germany at gallery Untitled - Zomer Salon, gallery de Compagnie, Dordrecht - Rotterdam Contemporary Art Fair, gallery Untitled, Rotterdam 2014 - Art Rotterdam, gallery RAM, Rotterdam - Raw Art Fair, gallery Untitled, Rotterdam 2013 - The value of Art, RAMfoundation, Rotterdam - Art & Language Tour / Poetry International Festival, Gallery Untitled, Rotterdam - Route du Nord, Zomerhofkwartier, Rotterdam - Raw Art Fair, Pakhuis Santos, Rotterdam 2012 - Happening at the Kunstvlaai, Beatrixpark Amsterdam with the Malieveldinitiatief - Making Room, alumni exhibition Royal Academy of Fine Arts, The Hague - Différentes Dimensions III, RAM-groupexhibition Salernes, France - Summer exhibition 4 de Korenbeurs, Schiedam - Betwixt and Between, Galerie WithTsjalling, Groningen - Screening ‘Lunch’ Galerie de Pieter, Leiden 2011 - Art Amsterdam at RAM, Amsterdam