Born in 1954 in Vilnius.
Member of the Union of Lithuanian Art Photographers from 1976.
Granted art creator status in 2005.
Worked as a photojournalist for Lithuanian Television, and a photographer at the Vaga Publishing House photography centre.
Established his own publishing house in 1992, where the main focus is on culture, heritage and history.
Started exhibiting large format prints as photographic works in 2015.
Main themes – cultural and historical heritage, landscapes.
In 2009–2011, he took photographs of the most valuable Lithuanian wooden church interiors (the book came out in 2012, an exhibition was held in 2015) – making the unique church art contained within accessible to a wider audience.
From 2011, he has been taking photographs of the historically and aesthetically valuable heritage of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (PLC). This federal Polish-Lithuanian state came into existence with the Union of Lublin (1569), however, at the end of the 18th century, it was partitioned between the Russian Empire, the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Poland; today, these are the territories of Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and Poland. The objects of his photographs are abandoned early brick shrines and castles that emit the aesthetic of the vanishing past.
In the previous domains of the PLC that are now in the territories of Belarus and Ukraine, there are significantly fewer brick heritage buildings than in Lithuania, yet due to historical circumstances, especially due to the aggressive Soviet atheisation that once prevailed, they are in a considerably worse condition. Many of the former owners of these buildings were driven away during the tsarist and Soviet years: Polish aristocrats lost their castles, priests and monks were exiled, while Polish Catholic communities were massacred.
The shrines were used as premises for clubs, fertiliser warehouses or firing ranges, while in 1960 in Huli and Hubyn (Hubina) (and not just there) such buildings were destroyed in explosions. Thus, a majority of the brick walls testifying to the work of these PLC rulers, magnates, clergymen and artists will, it seems, continue to exist only in photographs.
Major Publications Featuring The Photographs Of R. Paknys
The Art of Lithuanian Churches [with A. Baltėnas]. – Vilnius: R. Paknys Publishing House, 1993
Old Lithuanian Sculpture [with A. Baltėnas]. – Vilnius: R. Paknys Publishing House, 1994
Lithuania [with A. Baltėnas]. – Vilnius: R. Paknys Publishing House, 1996
Vilnius [with A. Baltėnas].– Vilnius: R. Paknys Publishing House, 2000
Lithuania [with A. Baltėnas].– Vilnius: R. Paknys Publishing House , 2000
Lithuanian Landscape. – Vilnius: R. Paknys Publishing House, 2004
Lithuania. – Vilnius: R. Paknys Publishing House, 2007
Vilnius [with A. Baltėnas, et al.].– Vilnius: R. Paknys Publishing House, 2007
Deafening Silence – Vilnius: R. Paknys Publishing House, 2009
Wooden Churches in Lithuania – Vilnius: R. Paknys Publishing House, 2012
Lithuanian Castles, Estates and Mansions – Vilnius: R. Paknys Publishing House, 2014