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Latvian National Museum of Art opens solo exhibition of works by Romāns Korovins
Romāns Korovins. Roots Woman. 2016. Photograph. Artist’s property. Photo: Romāns Korovins.

RIGA.- Romāns Korovins’ solo exhibition Satori of Master Wu and Master Lee is on view in the Creative Studio of the ARSENĀLS Exhibition Hall of the Latvian National Museum of Art in Riga (Torņa iela 1, 2nd floor) from 23 March to 13 May 2018.

Romāns Korovins’ solo exhibition Satori of Master Wu and Master Lee presents photography series of the same title that tell the life story of two imaginary Zen Buddhist masters from the moment of birth to death. The series follow their friendship and studies – the path towards enlightenment, their rivalry, the characters they encounter on their way, and the final results. The photo series reflect on spirituality and the human propensity for transcendence. Personae and acts typically associated with Zen Buddhism and Eastern religions show up in the material world that is very familiar to the local public – in Riga cityscapes and landscapes. The Satori of Master Wu and Master Lee thus becomes a work of magic realism.

Characteristically to Romāns Korovins’ art, the contents and the idea behind the work is not revealed in each individual image separately, but in the composition of several interconnected pieces. His exhibitions are often staged, drawing attention to oil paintings on canvas, ready-made objects and installations, as well as text and inscriptions in the exhibition room. The collection of these elements in an exhibition hall becomes a spatial and semantic expansion of the two-dimensional images.

In the creative work of Romāns Korovins several periods can be distinguished, as the artist’s interest changes from one media to another, his focus switching to different themes and subject interpretations. From impertinent defiance in contents and form – to contemplation and meditation on the transcendent. From punkish intervention – to the desire to conceptualize object-subject relations and the art as the mediator between them; and finally, to the construction of narrative content and stories told in shorter or longer phrases. This exhibition puts on display the topics that currently concern the author as well as gives an insight in the latest transformation of his formal expression.

Romāns Korovins’ photo album Satori of Master Wu and Master Lee will be presented at the exhibition opening event. The book is published by the Contemporary Art Institute with the financial support by State Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia.

Artist Romāns Korovins (1973) received academic training in graphic art from Art Academy of Latvia (MA 1997), but in his professional career Korovins works with static as well as moving images – his arsenal of creative expression includes painting, photography, video, installation and mixed media visual interventions in space.

Romāns Korovins participates in exhibitions since 1991. Author’s artworks have been exhibited in Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, and the USA. It is worth noting the participation of Romāns Korovins in the exhibition Ornamentalism. Purvītis Prize. Latvian Contemporary Art (curated by Viktor Misiano) that was part of the official Collateral Events Programme of the 56th Venice Biennale. Romāns Korovins has been nominated for the Purvītis Prize as well as the Latvian Annual Photography Award, which he received in 2006 and 2007.

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