Satori of Master Wu and Master Lee. Romāns Korovins. Solo exhibition

Romāns Korovins. Roots Woman. 2016. Photograph.
Romāns Korovins. Roots Woman. 2016. Photograph.

Romāns Korovins’ solo exhibition Satori of Master Wu and Master Lee will be 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.

Līna Birzaka-Priekule
, Exhibition Curator,
Head of the Creative Studio at the ARSENĀLS Exhibition Hall, Latvian National Museum of Art
Ph: (+371) 67 716115, E:

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ARSENĀLS Exhibition Hall of the Latvian National Museum of Art / Torņa iela 1, Riga, Latvia

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays 11.00–18.00, ticket office 11.00–17.45
Thursdays 11.00–20.00, ticket office 11.00–19.45
Saturdays, Sundays 12.00–17.00, ticket office 12.00–16.45
Closed on Mondays

The museum is closed on all public holidays: 1 January, Good Friday, Easter, Midsummer Eve and Day (23–24 June), Christmas (25–26 December), 31 December.

Reduced individual admission fee for groups of 10 or more people.
Free admission for the person in charge of the group.
Adults: 1,50 EUR
Schoolchildren, students, seniors: 1,00 EUR

Free entrance for: pre-school children; orphans or children not under parental care (valid status identification card required); children with a disability up to 18 years, 1st and 2nd group disabled persons (valid status identification card required) and one person accompanying either a child with a disability up to 18 years or a 1st or 2nd group disabled person; pupils of Latvian art schools or professional secondary art schools (valid status identification card required); full-time students of the Art Academy of Latvia (valid status identification card required); students attending institutions of professional secondary education or colleges who are studying or receiving training in visual or applied art, design, cultural history, museology, architecture, restoration as part of their studies or training (on submission of a written application to the museum director at least one day earlier); employees of Latvian museums (valid status identification card required); members of the International Council of Museums (ICOM, valid status membership card required); members of the Latvian Artists’ Union (valid status identification card required); Friend of the LNMA card holders; media representatives who are covering museum events (valid status identification card required); group (no less than 10 persons) leaders – guides or teachers; everyone on the international event Museum Night from 19.00; all visitors to the permanent display on the last Sunday of every month and on International Museum Day – 18th May.

Press release prepared by:
Natalie Suyunshalieva
Head of Press
The Latvian National Museum of Art
Ph: (+371) 67 357527
F: (+371) 67 357520