Romualdas Augūnas among photography amateurs and professionals is known as mountain photographer. In 2002 his book “People in Mountains” was reflecting his the most important theme and identified him in Lithuanian photography school.
Mountains in R.Augūnas photography appeared not by accident. In year 1958 he started professional mountain climbing when tried to reach the highest peak of Europe Elbrus. In 30 summers in mountains with photo-camera he participated in expeditions to Caucasus, Tian Shan and Pamir also went to peaks with no name, which were named as M.K. Čiurlionio, K. Donelaičio, Lietuvos, Žalgirio, Nemuno.
In those trips photographer created series “People and mountains” (1962-1983), Ünder the Sun of Egypt” (1969), “Motives of India” (1976), “Moments of Friendship in Kongo” (1979), “Under the Sun of South-East Asia” (1980).
In five decades of his photographic way he had not just mountains in his viewfinder. In his newest album “Dreaming Lithuania” he opens up his Lithuanian archive, where we find 220 photographs from the period between 1960 and 2010.
To come back to archive for the photographer it is like to come back to the motherland, sais R.Augūnas. As I look now into these photographs, I see people, who are not here anymore, I see the world, which is totally different then it was and that is why reminds a dream. That’s why “Dreaming Lithuania” is with its childhoods, everyday life and festivities, city and countryside life, duties and happiness.
According to the photography and film critic Skirmantas Valiulis, who wrote introduction to the book: “How to differ where is a small and where is a big life? In one place childhood is with a fur coat, in another – grown people are carrying a statue of Lenin. But everything fits to one generation life, which is intimate, because home or yard is a public place since there are demonstrations, weddings, and funerals. I would think that this book is exceptional. You can not feel any borders when going through it as you can not feel any in life. It is a universal life photography, which is not highlighting any psychological or existential problems.”
According Tomas Pabedinskas “Ïn the new R.Augūnas album there is no photographs of far countries or snowy mountains, which widened a narrow panorama of Lithuanian photography. In the new book he seems is coming back home and this is not so unexpected as could look from the first sight. Even he was photographing in mountains he wasn’t only capturing impressive compositions of snow and rocks, but also we see people there.”
Psychological portrait of a person and scenes telling about his life are same way important or maybe even more important then views of nature. According S.Valiulis “R.Augūnas was interested in people in Lithuania, in Pamir or by the borders of Afganistan. “ So it is not surprising that R.Augūnas is considered as one of representatives of Lithuanian humanistic photography. He says that all people of all nationalities are connected with same problems and that’s is why they are close to each other.
The exhibition is open till March 3rd.
Gallery working hours: : II – V 12 noon – 6 p.m., VI 12 noon – 4 p.m.
During the exhibition the price of the album “Dreaming Lithuania”- 30 lt.