The Korea Foundation and the Embassy of the Republic of Latvia in Korea is pleased to announce the Latvia. Architecture at Convergence exhibition at the KF Gallery from May 8 to June 12, 2019.
The exhibition follows the theme of "a+u" (Architecture and Urbanism) magazine's special issue (No. 555) from December 2016, titled "Latvia - Architecture Unfolding," and is part of a series of events introducing Latvian architecture and design in the Republic of Korea.
The exhibition provides a glimpse of the multiple aspects that shaped the architecture of Latvia, particularly that of Riga, and created its distinctive character. Located in Northern Europe at the gateway to the Baltic Sea, Latvia has been placed at the geographical, political, commercial and social crossroads for more than a thousand years.
More subtle layers of convergence are related to the existence of parallel cultural streams, which create an unusual harmony between deep-rooted traditions of the ancient Baltic tribes living in the area, heritage brought in by foreign cultures, and contemporary Latvia's self-identity.
For over 4000 years, the territory of Latvia has been inhabited by the Baltic tribes of the Couronians, Semigallians, Selonians and Latgalians, and thus, Latvian culture is rooted in folk traditions, farming culture and homestead architecture.
The introduction to the Western European cultural sphere began with the arrival of the Crusaders on Latvian soil in the late 12th century, bringing along Christianity and introducing new urban customs. During the following eight centuries Latvia was moulded at cultural, geographic, trading, political and self-identity convergences of German, Swedish, Polish, Russian and other powers' influences, while still keeping alive the ancient Latvian cultural forms and traditions.
The late 20th century brought in powerful realizations of Latvian self-identity that manifested in establishing Latvia's statehood between 1918 and 1940. After regaining independence in 1991 from the collapsing Soviet Union, Latvia experienced a fresh start and redefined its identity at the nexus of Western, Northern and Eastern European cultures.
This exhibition highlights particular aspects of these converging cultural streams that continue to shape the essence of spatial aesthetics in Latvia. However, rather than offering rational and logical explanations, visitors are invited to explore the exhibitions by tracing intuitive and perceptual suggestions.