"Philippine Visual Arts: A Glass Sculptor's Perspective"


We were indeed very honored and privileged to have with us one brave Filipino soul who have taken the risk to explore an unknown world - Mr. Ramon Orlina.

His works indicate the sheer genius of breaking boundaries by transforming sculptures into something literally translucent, ethereal, and quietly sophisticated.
His work is no rash display of over-emotional exhibitionism, but a careful calculation of the potentials of the material, balanced with the serenity of an excellent eye.

From his artworks Orlina has gone on to redefine the state of Philippine Sculpture as one that is both environmentally sustainable and uniquely sensual.
Orlina first became active as an artist in 1975 when he painted on sheet glass and had a successful exhibition of The Gallery, Hyatt Regency, in Roxas Boulevard.
In 1976 through the sponsorship of Republic Glass Corporation, Orlina experimented and developed the technique of working on glass cullets carving and polishing them into prismatic shapes.

In the same year he completed his first commissioned work, "ARCANUM XIX, Paradise Gained." It surprised and inspired a visiting Australian art critic and artist in the mid-70's, Gerry King, that more than twenty years later he would write about it in an Australian art publication the following remarks:
"Unlike the present, contemporary glass in architecture was a rarity in any country during that era."

By his first solo exhibit in sculpture at the City Gallery of Manila in 1980, Orlina began pushing the boundaries using glass cullet sculpture, still carving and polishing them into prismatic shapes but also penetrating and gouging out thicker portions to bring them to light.
His collaboration in the design of the Greenbelt Park Chapel in 1983 cemented his reputation as a noted sculptor and designer.

By the late-1980's, his design philosophy reflected a more intimate and domestically contended state, with his imagery of nude female body parts mixing with his sensual curved abstracts.

The "Ning Ning" and "Naesa" series bolstered his reputation as a consistently excellent proponent of sculpture in all its forms.

By the 1990s, the complete Orlina repertoire was unfolding.The year 1999 marked a high point in Orlina's career with his winning the "Mr. F. Prize" of the Toyamura International Sculpture Bienale, '99 in Hokaido, Japan.

This biennial attracted 956 entries from 65 participating countries competing in all mediums. The winning piece of Orlina was a dazzling white optical glass sculpture called "Silvery Moon."

In the turn of the Millennium, Ramon Orlina pondered on the multi-faceted nature of his work, and decided to augment it with the introduction of tubular stainless steel, a phase first suggested in his award-winning piece "Basketball MI Mundo" which won the first prize in the sculpture category of the II International Biennale of Basketball in the Fine Arts held in Madrid in January, 2000.

In his 25 years as a sculptor, Ramon Orlina has consistently shown excellence, originality and daring as a sculptor.

His 20th solo exhibition, "Glass in Silver" will present this compilation of technical and aesthetic bravura to those aspiring to go to the deepest of conceptual spaces.

Surrounded by the circum-globulations of steel, and the prismatic flashes of glass, the viewer would indeed enter a universe that Orlina has recreated, a glimpse into his complex mind and sincere heart.

For in the world sculpture, few can boast of such achievements in the industry, and in sensitively relating to the rest of humanity as Ramon Orlina has.


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