The exhibition ars viva 2022 – Agents of Perception will be on view from April 9 to August 7, 2022, presenting six artists – the ars viva prize* winners Lewis Hammond, Tamina Amadyar, and Mooni Perry, as well as three remarkable emerging artists from the Baltic region: Laura Põld, Anastasia Sosunova, and Jānis Dzirnieks.


Find the exhibition guide here. The exhibition on a virtual platform can be found here.


Metaphorically, the exhibition approaches artists as agents in the field of perception – creators with a special cognition and presence who bring across critical knowledge and poignant emotional states. Their courage is limitless in either critically opposing something or in remaining deliberately ambivalent.


The attentive minds and creative skills of the artists enable them to make complex phenomena – such as the repression of groups, human selfishness and alienation, and ignorance to nature – graspable by audiences. The presented artworks enhance the possibility of reflecting upon these contemporary and everlasting existential topics while offering relief in difficult times.


ars viva 2022 – Agents of Perception is therefore not an intellectual exercise but a poetic experiment. It involves different mediums from contemporary painting to video installations, bringing these six enigmatic artistic positions together. A common characteristic in the artists’ works is the affective force of abstract, archetypal, mythological and surrealist elements. The exhibited works invite the audience to freely experience emotional intensity and follow the sensations initiated by alluring colours, uncanny symbols, and dreamlike imagery.


By linking the position of the agent and the artist in the idea of ​​the exhibition, the curator wants to highlight the importance and role of artists as mediators and shapers of the collective consciousness. There is a widespread understanding in our everyday language and popular culture that agents act for someone or something. Artists, however, serve their own agenda and work with topics and sentiments that need to be expressed according to their personal values, no matter how much tension and discomfort a revelation or an elaboration upon something might evoke. They can cause a shift in our perception and communicate directly with the subconscious. Artists have the agency.


Artists: Tamina Amadyar, Jānis Dzirnieks, Lewis Hammond, Mooni Perry, Laura Põld, and Anastasia Sosunova

Curator: Maria Helen Känd


Exhibition team: Karin Laansoo, Kadi-Ell Tähiste, Maria Elisaveta Roosalu, Brigit Arop

Exhibition design: Tõnu Narro

Installation: Tehniline Direktor – Tõnu Narro & Mihkel Lember with Marten Esko and Erik Liiv

Graphic designer: Henri Kutsar

Translations: Keiu Krikmann, Mari Volens

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, Estonian Centre of Folk Culture

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


*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.


The exhibition is a cooperation with Kai Art Center and Kulturkreis der deutschen Wirtschaft im BDI e.V. (Association of Arts and Culture of the German Economy).


Selected press coverage: