Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir / Shoplifter’s solo exhibition Hyperweb will be on view from May 27 to November 26, 2023, filling Kai Art Center with chromatic opulence. This is the first solo presentation in Estonia by the acclaimed Icelandic artist. The exhibition is accompanied by a soundscape commissioned from Icelandic musician and talented theremin player Hekla.


Hyperweb is monumental multicolored installation using synthetic hair extentsions. These vibrant mass-produced fibers are carefully mixed and transformed from their original purpose to create a suspended labyrinth of colors. Intertwined swirls float in chaotic formation around the viewer, inspiring an inner journey.


Shoplifter, who calls herself a color maximalist, often works with synthetic hair – her signature material. For the artist, hair is an original, creative fiber, a way for people to distinguish themselves as individuals. ‘The unique space and high curved ceiling at Kai was very inspiring to me, so I decided to create a new work. A hair cathedral in a former submarine factory has been one of the most fascinating challenges for me,’ comments Shoplifter. Preparations for the hair installation, which are usually the most time consuming part, took place in Reykjavik with the artist’s team and lasted about 3 months. Final color decisions and hanging of the labyrinth were done on-site at Kai. The artist follows a 100% reuse principle when working with her favorite material, always using hair from previous installations.


Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir / Shoplifter (b. 1969, Reykjavik) is a contemporary artist who works with synthetic and natural hair. When Arnardóttir moved to New York in 1994, her birth name was mispronounced as Shoplifter and she has gone by that name ever since. Shoplifter is known for her sculptures, wall murals, and site-specific installations, and has shown her work worldwide. She has collaborated with artists from various countries while moving comfortably along the borders between art, fashion, traditional craft, and design. In 2004, she created a hair mask for the musician Björk and the cover of her album Medúlla, and in 2008 she worked in collaboration with art collective a.v.a.f. to create a large-scale window installation at MoMA. Shoplifter represented Iceland at La Biennale di Venezia in 2019 with her installation Chromo Sapiens. Her recent solo exhibitions include Hypernature at ARoS (Aarhus, 2021), Chromo Sapiens at Reykjavik Art Museum (Reykjavik, 2020), and Nervescape at Kiasma (Helsinki, 2019).


Curator: Karin Laansoo

Soundscape: Hekla

Exhibition text: Markús Pór Andrésson

Creative producer: Lilja Baldurs

Exhibition team: Kadri Laas-Lepasepp, Kärt Koppel, Katrin Tomiste, Käthriin Steinberg, Henri Kutsar, Keiu Krikmann, Katariina Helene Arrak, Linda More, Emilia Ósk Bjarnadóttir, Jarþrúður Iða Másdóttir

Installation manager: Oddný Magnea Arnbjörnsdóttir

Installation: Tehniline Direktor – Tõnu Narro, Mihkel Lember + Erik Liiv

Artist video: Infringe


The exhibition is supported by Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Tallinn Culture & Sports Department, Embassy of Iceland, Akzo Nobel and Vestman Energia.