On Tuesday, 10 May, the Humanities' and Social Sciences' Reading Room (Level 2) of the National Library of Latvia (NLL) the unveiling of the large-scale artwork Latvian Flag (Latvijas karogs) in the presence of Latvia's President Raimonds Vējonis, Georgia's Ambassador to Latvia Teimuraz Janjalia and Nancy Bikoff Pettit, the United States' Ambassador to Latvia happened. The work of art is a gift to Latvia, on the occasion of the 97th anniversary of independence, from its creator, Georgian-American artist David Datuna and will remain on permanent display.
"Today we are receiving a very special gift. We exhibit a work of art, where our friend honours us, our country and one of our national symbols – the flag" said R. Vējonis, the President of Latvia, by thanking artist D. Datuna for the gift, the work of art.
The President also pointed out that this gift allows us to look beyond the everyday life and to see ourselves in the context of the world, and also allows to express gratitude for the friendship and appreciate friends. The President expressed his pleasure that the flag which was gifted to Latvia, will be available for viewing at the NLL.
"It was a real honour to work with the Latvian Flag. It was an interesting learning process, which has allowed me to learn more about your wonderful country and its people as well as your efforts to move forward and to be free, independent. I am grateful to the Latvian people that they have allowed me to touch their souls and thus become a part of your country. I express my deep gratitude to the President and the Director of the Library personally" D. Datuna in his written greeting to the participants of the event.
"We are pleased that world-renowned foreign artists are promoting and honouring Latvian history, our culture and national symbols. This gift is a unique example, affirming that artistic expression transcends borders and brings together countries and societies, as well as cultures. The National Library of Latvia will make sure that everyone becomes aware of this fact, both visitors to the library and people all over the world!" NLL Director Andris Vilks.
In November 2015, David Datuna presented the work to President Raimonds Vējonis at the opening event of the ART RIGA international art festival. Following an initiative of the President's Chancellery, the artwork has been entrusted to the NLL.
Latvian Flag is based on the use of positive and negative optical lenses placed over a collage of images depicting important events, places and people in Latvia’s history and the struggle for national freedom.
Artist David Datuna was born in Tbilisi, Georgia on 10 February 1974. He currently lives and works in New York. David Datuna has gained wide recognition with his Viewpoints of Millions series of art works, which explore symbols of national identity and their meanings.
This gift has been implemented with the involvement of Gaļina Maksimova and Dags Vidulejs, organisers of the ART RIGA international art festival.
Information prepared by:
Public Relations Specialist
National Library of Latvia
Tel.: +371 26472501
Additional information about the artist:
Coordinator, ART FAIR RIGA Art Festival
Tel: +371 29566740