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Way of Life of Alternative Swedes – at Rietumu Photo Exhibition

28-Mar-2014 Way of Life exposition of the work of Latvian photo artist Inta Ruka has opened at Rietumu Art Gallery.

The exhibition is organised jointly with the Embassy of Sweden in Latvia, and is timed to coincide with the visit of the Swedish royal couple to Latvia.



The work of Inta Ruka has been presented at various international exhibitions, including the Biennale in Venice, the Barbican Centre in London, and the Photography Centre of Istanbul. The focus of attention of the photographer is practically always man – a person with his special inner world and life philosophy.

The current Way of Life exposition presents several dozen photos depicting the lives of five Swedish farmer families. To create these works, Inta Ruka made several trips to Sweden last year at the invitation of Hдlsinglands Museum, where she met and photographed the subjects of her works.

As the Deputy Chairman of Rietumu Bank Council Arkady Suharenko said when greeting Inta Ruka and the exhibition guests, “We are very pleased that Rietumu Bank and its gallery have been chosen for this exhibition. Every event like this brings our countries closer, and increases understanding between our people.”

The core concept of the exhibition, which has been artistically implemented by Inta Ruka, is to show people who purposefully selected a way of life which has now become a sort of alternative lifestyle for Sweden, where the overwhelming majority of people – about 85% – live in cities.

The subjects of the Way of Life exposition live in harmony with themselves and the surrounding world. “The people I photographed work a lot, but they do not perceive it as a burden, because they like their work and their way of life. They are free and independent, as they can provide themselves with practically everything they need,” said Inta Ruka.

Among the subjects are young people who chose to be farmers and dream that their children will continue developing their farms, and older people who are in excellent health and who do the work that their urban equivalents would hardly be able to do. “For example, a Swede who is now a friend of mine and my regular pen friend, at the age of 74 still chops trees and stores wood himself. And, what is more, these people are very cordial and open-hearted,” says the artist.

Way of Life was earlier exhibited at Hдlsinglands Museum for four months, and stimulated much interest with the Swedish public. The exhibition at Rietumu Gallery will be held until 31 March, and will then move to the Latvian city of Ventspils.

The exhibition is open weekdays from 9.00 till 18.00. Admission, as always, is free.

Address: Headquarters of Rietumu Bank – Rietumu Capital Centre, 7 Vesetas Street, Riga.

Eleonora Gailisha
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