Kristi Kongi

installation, painting

Kristi Kongi (born in 1985) is painter and installation artist whose work focuses on colour, light, and space. Her bright coloured paintings often take the form of impressive installations created for specific settings. Besides painting on canvas, plywood, walls, floors and ceiling, she also uses various cloured materials like fabrics, plexiglass to create her painting installations.

Specific places that the artist has visited or inhabited and her observations, emotions and memories are often the base of her paintings and installations. She likes to create space-in-space situations by transferring those memory-places to the exhibition space by self-invented transformations-systems. The latter arises from the painting experiments where Kristi tests different questions related to colour, light and shadow. Kristi has named those experiments “Exercises With the Moon” – an example of a poetic name, a kind of her paintings and installations often bear.

Kristi Kongi studied painting at Tartu Art College (BA, 2004-2008) and graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts painting department (MA, 2008-2011). She has been awarded Young Artist Prize (2011), Sadolin Art Prize (2013), Konrad Mägi Prize (2017) and nominated for the Köler Prize (2016). She is an associate professor at the Estonian Academy of Arts painting department.

See also Kristi Kongi on artists database of CCA (Estonian Centre for Contemporary Art)

Press and Publications


Aberration. Exercises with light and shadow
Kristi Kongi (ed.), 2017.

Artists’ Spaces
Annika Toots and Merilin Talumaa (eds.),
Estonian Art Academy Press, 2017.

I haven’t moved my head from the pillow
Kristi Kongi,Indrek Sirkel and Anu Vahtra (eds.)Lugemik, 2015.

Can’t go on. Must go on
Compiled by artists, exhibition catalogue, 2014.

Dear, I’m a Painting / Always Yours Blue Lagoon
Kati Ilves and Merike Estna (eds.), exhibition catalogue, 2014.


In English

A Visual Essay on Today’s Colours
Visual essay by Kristi Kongi. Estonian Art 1/2019.

Photo reportage from the exhibition by Kristi Kongi and Mari-Leen Kiipli at the Kogo gallery 
Echo Gone Wrong. 22.11.2018.

Kristi Kongi and Kasper Bosmans at Kumu Art Museum
Art Viewer. 08.10.2018.

The pictorial world of Kristi Kongi
Severine Grosjean.  VHMOR. 08.07.2018.

Kristi Kongi’s Room of Nostalgia
Kati Ilves. Magazine of Art and Visual Culture KUNST.EE, 2/2015.

Kristi Kongi: I do enjoy ling contemplation and pondering over things
Andreas Trossek. Magazine of Art and Visual Culture in Estonia KUNST.EE. 1/2014.

Kristi Kongi: Playing in the House of Color
Agnese Čivle. Arterritory, 05.08.2011.

In Estonian

Kunst sinu ümber. Maalikunstnik Kristi Kongi: Ärev-kummaline aeg võib panna meid uude suunda liikuma
Kaarin Kivirähk, Sten Ojavee. Postimees. 11.09.2020.

Maalikunstnik Kristi Kongi: Mehhiko andis mulle lihtsuse tagasi 
Silvia Pärmann. Edasi.org. 13.11.2018.

Andreas Trossek. Vikerkaar, 3/2015.

Aus maalikunstnik Kristi Kongi
Hanna-Liis Kont. Müürileht. Märts, 2014.

Kristi Kongi ja Marta Stratskas maalivad paradiisi 
Eha Komissarov. Eesti Ekspress. 19.04.2012.

Kristi värvimaja
Epifanio 15, 2011.

Kristi Kongi värvimuusika
Kadri Karro. Eesti Ekspress, 11.01.2011.

Kristi Kongi tõlkeprobleemid
Ragne Nukk. Äripäev, 19.11.2010.


Kristi Kongi, born in 1985 in Tallinn, lives and works in Tallinn, Estonia.


2008-2011 Estonian Academy of Arts, Painting (MA);
2004-2008 Tartu Art College, Painting (BA);
2004 Lahti University of Applied Sciences, Institute of Fine Arts, Finland.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2020 I See a Glow from the Seabed. It has No End, No Beginning. And the Colour Changes in Every Moment. Konteiner gallery, Kärdla, Hiiumaa, Estonia.
2018 Secret Whistle in the Forest, with Mari-Leen Kiipli. Kogo Gallery, Tartu, Estonia.
2018 Mapping the Jungle. Karen Huber Gallery, Mexico City, Mexico.
2018 Kristi Kongi in Dialogue with Kasper Bosmans. Alchemists, Artists, Cleaners and Others. Together with Kasper Bosmans. KUMU Art Museum exhibition space, Tallinn, Estonia.
2018 Houses with Soul. Dedazo, Carrillo Puerto, Mexico.
2017 Aberration. Exercises with Light and Shadow. Vaal Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia.
2016 Have You Seen Yourself? Hobusepea Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia.
2014 Then. Now. Between All Those Times. Tallinn City Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia.
2014 Wish I Were a Bird. Orton Gallery, Helsinki, Finland.
2013 Andogynic Mind Machines, with Raoul Kurvitz. Tallinn Art Hall Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia.
2012 Wish I Were a Bird. Hobusepea Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia.
2012 HEAVEN, with Marta Stratskas, Vaal Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia.
2010 Transformer. Draakon Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia.
2010 You are My Meow. SooSoo Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia.

Selected Group Exhibitions

2021 Series of public art exhibitions titled Nocturnal visions. Pink cloud by Kristi Kongi. Explorer building at Kai 1, Tallinn, Estonia.
2020/21 Let me dream once more. Merike Estna, Kristi Kongi, Kaarel Kurismaa, Holger Loodus and Anna Škodenko. Curator Kristi Kongi. Narva Museum Art Gallery, Narva, Estonia.
2019/20 Report to the Audience. Acquisitions of Tartmus. Curators Julia Polujanenkova, Heiti Kulmar. Tartmus, Tartu Art Museum, Tartu, Estonia.
2019 Art Museum of Estonia 100. Open Collections: The Artist Takes the Floor. Curator Eha Komissarov. Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn, Estonia.
2019 Women Artists from Pallas 1919-2019. Curator Reet Pulk-Piatkowska. Gallery Noorus, Tartu, Estonia.
2019 Lines Composed During A Tour. Co-Lab Projects, Austin, United States of America.
2017 Children of the New East. Curated by Siim Preiman. Tallinn Art Hall, Tallinn, Estonia.
2016 Nomadic Images, 16th International Painting Triennial. Curated by Linas Liandzbergis. Museum of Applied Art, Vilnius, Lithuania.
2016 The Great Painter. Curated by Liisa Kaljula. Evald Okas Museum, Haapsalu, Estonia.
2016 Kilometre of Sculpture. Curated by Anna Virtanen. Rakvere, Estonia.
2016 Köler Prize exhibition of nominees. Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia, Tallinn, Estonia.
2014-2015 White Sheet – Three Visions. dFab, Riga Gallery, Riga, Latvia; Arka Gallery, Vilnius, Lithuania.
2014 Can’t Go On. Must Go On. Curated by Elin Kard and Mihkel Ilus. Tallinn Art Hall, Tallinn, Estonia.
2014 Merike Estna & I’m a painting. Curated by Merike Estna and Kati Ilves. Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn, Estonia.
2014 Artishok Biennale. A+B=AB14. Mūkusalas Mākslas Salons, Riga, Latvia.
2014 Is This the Museum We Wanted?  Curated by Rael Arter, Tartu Art Museum, Tartu, Estonia.
2013-2014 Young Painter Prize. CAC, Vilnius, Lithuania.
2013 Are We not Drawn to New Era. Tartu Art House, Tartu, Estonia.
2012 Speed of Darkness and Other Stories. KUMU Art Museum, Tallinn, Estonia.
2012 Muuda oma meelt / Change Your Mind, Viljandi City Gallery, Viljandi, Estonia
2011 Young Painter Prize exhibition of finalists. Tatanikas, Vilnius, Lithuania.
2011 Zugzwang. Culture Factory Polymer, Tallinn, Estonia.
2010-2011 Girl Power. Artdepoo, Tallinn, Estonia.
2010 Zugzwang. Commune Art, Vilnius, Lithuania.
2010 Muutuv maalikunst / Painting in Process. Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn, Estonia.
2010 193 x 292. Vaal Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia.


2016 Currency. Curated by Gabriel Mestre. Tripitaka Water Bank, Kopenhagen, Denmark.

Prizes and Scholarships

2017 Konrad Mägi prize;
2016 Nominee of the Köler prize;
2013 Sadolin Art Prize;
2011 Young Artist Prize.


2018 Dedazo residency, Carrillo Puerto, Mexico;
2017 Research residency, Mexico City, Mexico;
2016 De Liceiras, Porto, Portugal;
2014 Samband Íslenkra Myndlistarmanna (SÍM), Reykjavik, Iceland.

Works in Collections

Tartu Art Museum
Private collections in Estonia and all over the World including Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, England, Italy, Germany, USA, Mexico.

Mixed media on paper, 20.5 × 18 cm, 2020
Mixed media on paper, 21.5 x 18 cm, 2020
Mixed media on paper, 19.5 x 18 cm, 2020
Mixed media on paper, 21 x 18 cm, 2020
Oil on canvas, 70 x 67 cm, 2020
2200 €
Oil on canvas, 66 x 55 cm, 2019
2200 €
Oil on canvas, 31 x 30 cm, 2019
950 €
Oil on canvas, 47 x 44 cm, 2019
1700 €
Mixed technique on canvas, 43 x 43 cm, 2019
1500 €
Oil on canvas, 31 x 34 cm, 2019
1100 €
Oil on canvas, 42 x 34 cm, 2018
Oil on canvas, 44 x 37 cm, 2018
1300 €
Oil on canvas, 130 x 140 cm, 2017
4900 €
Oil on canvas, 35 x 35 cm, 2016
1100 €
Oil on canvas, 95 x 80 cm, 2016
3500 €
Oil on canvas, 50 x 55 cm, 2016
2000 €
Oil on canvas, 35 x 35 cm, 2016
1100 €
Oil on canvas, 30 x 29 cm, 2016
950 €
Oil on canvas, 35 x 35 cm, 2016
1100 €
Oil on canvas, 150 x 155 cm, 2014
6500 €
Oil on canvas, 182 x 190 cm, 2012
8700 €
Mixed technique on canvas, 175 x 150 cm, 2012
6500 €
Oil on canvas, 120 x 110 cm, 2012
4000 €