Mooni Perry 'Binlang Xishi' (2021-22). Photo: videostill. Courtesy of the artist

Kai shines a light on rising stars of contemporary art

Exhibition ars viva 2022 — Agents of Perception will be on view from April 9th to August 7th at Kai Art Center presenting six artists — ars viva prize* winners Lewis HammondTamina Amadyar, and Mooni Perry, as well as three remarkable emerging artists from the Baltic region: Laura PõldAnastasia Sosunova, and Jānis Dzirnieks. The exhibition is curated by Maria Helen Känd.


ars viva 2022 — Agents of Perception is a poetic experiment bringing together six artists from the same generation who work with engaging mediums ranging from contemporary painting to video and installations. Metaphorically, the exhibition approaches artists as agents in the field of perception — creators with a special cognition and presence who present critical knowledge and poignant emotional states. Their courage is limitless in either critically opposing something or in remaining deliberately ambivalent. A common characteristic in the artists’ works are the abstract and archetypal elements and intensity in form.


Most of the artworks presented at Kai will reach audiences for the first time: Laura Põld will create two unique site-specific installations; Tamina Amadyar, originally from Afghanistan, will create a series of large paintings, researching the relationship between light, color, and space; Jānis Dzirnieks will present a selection of new digital paintings of grotesque shapes and abstract color fields. The diverse cultural backgrounds of participating artists adds an additional layer to the exhibition: Mooni Perry combines Taiwan’s customs and the poetry of her homeland, Korea, with a societal-feminist analysis. Lewis Hammond integrates motifs from ancient narratives with personal memories of growing up as a black man in Britain in his paintings, expressing the complexity and diversity of human existence. One of the most renowned young contemporary artists from Lithuania, Anastasia Sosunova, explores how communities are built — referencing folk stories and playing with symbols, she creates alternative forms of ‘contemporary folklore’.


*ars viva prize. Since 1953, the Kulturkreis der deutschen Wirtschaft has awarded the ars viva prize to outstanding young artists based in Germany. The award honors work that demonstrates a distinct language of form and an awareness of contemporary issues. This year’s prize includes exhibitions at the Brücke-Museum, Berlin and Kai Art Center, Tallinn, Estonia. Each artist receives a 5,000 euro stipend. In addition, the Kulturkreis has produced a bilingual catalogue published by Kerber Verlag. The jury selected this year’s winners from 55 nominated artists under the age of 35. In the past, the award exhibitions have taken place at many European art institutions, including the Bern Art Museum (2018), the Leipzig Gallery of Contemporary Art (2019), and the Hanover Art Building (2020).


Kulturkreis is the longest-standing institution for entrepreneurial support of the arts in Germany. Since 1951 it has promoted emerging artists in the areas of architecture, visual arts, literature, and music through the contributions and donations of its members, which include some of Germany’s leading companies.


Sponsors: Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Kulturkreis der deutschen Wirtschaft, HypoVereinsbank – Member of Unicredit, DHL Express Estonia, Vestman Energia, Nordic Culture Point, Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia, AkzoNobel


Thank you to Arcadia Missa Gallery, Galerie Guido W. Baudach, Mr Markus Krause, Elle Lepik, Kadri Räis, Cristopher Siniväli, Ingrid Allik, Ave Eiland, Keidi Jaakson, Kristjan Pütsep, Leelo-Mai Aunbaum, Ewelina Bialoszewska, Tiina Hallik, Põhjala Brewery


A selection of press images can be found here.


For international press inquiries please contact Alexia Menikou.
For Estonian press inquiries please contact Kadi-Ell Tähiste.


Kai Art Center is open Wednesdays to Sundays from 12pm to 6pm. Ticket prices are 8€/5€, and on Wednesdays admission is at the discounted price of 5€ for all. Kai Art Center’s Annual Pass can be bought here for 25€.