The QuattroMondial Monument

It’s monumental in terms of its concept. It captures the idea of the University—an institution of learning that has survived 400 years and various [disasters that came to] the country and [is still looking] towards the future.

Cid Reyes
Respected artist-critic and author of several art books
Taken from "The Making and Unveiling of a Masterpiece" The Varsitarian Quadricentennial Supplement, 2011

BluPrint - Global Pinoy Special Issue

Orlina's contribution to society, both to its spirit and the economy, is witnessed by the major commissions he has received. The first, ARCANUM XIX, Paradise Gained, greeted me in the foyer of the Silahis Hotel on the first day of my visit to the Philippines in 1976. In the 1970s, few large-scale contemporary glass works existed anywhere in the world. This work gave the lie to the popular notion that the contemporary glass was a creature of Europe and North America (the work is now on loan to the National Museum).

Dr. Gerry King
Australian artist and designer working in contemporary glass. He is also an author, lecturer, workshop leader and consultant.
Taken from "Starting Point", Global Pinoy - BluPrint Special Issue, 2010

Dale Chihuly, Bertil Vallien and Ramon Orlina

It is easy to think of lyrical poetry when viewing Orlina's work. But it is not a weak, sentimental lyricism that is imparted. Orlina knows that this would weaken the impact of his art. It is vitality he seeks through his forms, enhanced by the most subtle hues, a sense of what freedom of spirit is about, and the drama of interaction with art itself. In a great deal of Orlina's work there is a familiarity about them, and this is achieved through his understanding not only of his subject matter, but also his keen awareness f the human spirit. His sculptures give us a sense of soaring freedom and human intimacy, both vital to the heart of humankind. Through this Orlina has reached for, and achieved, a universal message in his art. In the end, of course, Orlina's sculpture is about hope and human joy.

Ian Findlay-Brown
Editor of World Sculpture News and Asian Art News
Taken from "Reflections" exhibition catalog, 2000

Though somewhat geographically isolated from other practitioners, there exist in the Philippines a small contigent of artists comparable with those from countries more commonly regarded as being the bastions of studio glass. Filipino glass artists have been little recorded in international exhibitions, catalogues and journals. Accordingly, there are few participants in the international community of contemporary studio glass who have been introduced to their work. During the 1970's I presented papers at several international conferences in Manila. Each of these events was considered to be significance to the host country and was held in a salubrious five-star hotel. The Silahis, a hotel of prestigious ambience situated on the Manila esplenade, was immediately notable for two aspects of its entrance foyer. At the door a notice near the security desk politely requested that guests deposit their guns with the concierge. Inside, the prime view was given to a wall sculpture of carved glass ( "Paradise Gained" 1976 1.80 x 3.20 meters now at the National Museum ). Unlike the present, contemporary glass in architecture was a rarity in any country during that era. I inquired of the artist but did not have the opportunity to meet him. More recently I've been re-exposed to the glass works of Orlina and introduced to those of other artists who, together, are effectively at the core of contemporary glass in the Philippines.

Dr. Gerry King
Artist and Designer specialising in contemporary glass who also undertakes consultancy positions in the arts and arts education.
Taken from "Beyond Hollywood - Glass in the Philippines", Craft Arts International, 2000

Ramon Orlina definitely brought something new to the West Coast with this exhibition. With most U.S. glass artists preferring blowing or casting, Orlina's approach offers valid alternatives if not original forms.

Mathew Kangas
Art Critic based in Seattle,Washington
Taken from GLASS: The Urban Glass Art, Quarterly Magazine Summer 1997 issue

Orlina has become today a real expert in glass technology and he has certainly perfected his craft to a very refined level of technical accomplishment. His works have received international recognition and acclaim. His abstract forms, so slick and sensuous in their finishings and their essentially organic, vitalistic characteristics, are quite stunning to behold. They reflect a conscious celebration of mass surface planes but the interplay between volume and void is given another usual dimension, namely a dazzling transparency and translucence, because of the luminous medium. In Orlina's work, actual physical light becomes a major element in the aesthetic activation of the form.

Redza Piyadasa
Taken from Orlina's dazzling sculptures
Business Times 22 April 1995

TRANSPARENCY, which is intrinsic to glass or crystal as a medium gives Orlina's works a dimension different from sculptors working with opaque materials such as stone or metal. Glass gives a touch of the ethereal--- palpably present at one time and in an instant, dissolving into immateriality. Like: seeing past, present and future at the same time. Or seeing a sculpture in-the-round simultaneously. THERE is no sculpture for this in the Philippines. The nearest point of reference is in paintings: in the works of the National Artist Vicente S. Manansala who developed a Cubistic idiom which he called Transparent Cubism where internal and external features are seen at the same time. AND maybe, in physics: Hawkin' theory of time.

Rod Paras-Perez
Taken from "A Touch of Glass" Exhibition catalog,

Orlina's mastery of sculptural concepts and technique is formidable and apparent in these works. When viewing them we are enthralled by the display and revelation of what appears like a limitless interior world; even as we so gripped, we are also enveloped, drawn into their own luminescence. This duality of inwardness and outwardness of interiority and exteriority is provocatively realized by Orlina in his treatment of material and structure, volume and space, light and form.

T.K. Sabapathy
Taken from Forms of Light exhibition catalog,

Ramon Orlina's glass métier which is highly dependent on cast-off industrial glass cullets actually puts his glass materials on the same level as quarried stones. Except, glass cullets are in fact, industrial waste. It is Ramon Orlina's use of modern tools like high-speed grinders, diamond cutters and sand blasters which imparts a unique imprint on the glass material. It is also the mode which sets him apart from other glass artists. And unwittingly, the ultimate link in an ecological chain. From industrial works to gem-like artworks. Is there any better task for an artist?

Rod Paras-Perez
Taken from Orlina's Green Fire
Taipan Magazine, November 1990

The connoisseur of sculpture of the fifth-century Athens would have had no difficulty recognizing Orlina's prodigious skill in paying homage to this part of woman's physiognomy. But he would have been bemused by the way Orlina has opted not to take the whole nude female figure as object of contemplation but to isolate instead a part from the whole and make a fetish out of it. He would have been equally bemused to see, in most cases, not breast coming in pairs of equal size as nature intended but a breast seen in splendid isolation or juxtaposed at odd angles or back-to-back with a second or a third breast in the same composition.

Eric Torres
Taken from Sunday Inquirer Magazine
Orlina's Latest: A Salute The Breast 16 Sept. 1990

Orlina now truly sculpts with light, in particular light "trapped within" the glass block (an illusion, of course, since the material isn't hollow but solid). He deliberately attempts to give direction to the effects of refracted light (or light "trapped within" glass) and integrate these with the overall design. He also tries to relate the flow of lines and shapes and masses, or facets, on one side of the sculpture with that on the other side(s) as seen through the glass, to establish greater artistic balance, proportion and unity in a composition meant to be perceived in the round. In regulating the passage of light through the glass, Orlina frosts certain sides, or facets, of his sculpture. Combining the frosted areas with crystalline ones is a means of modulating, balancing and maintaining a desirable sense of continuity in the various movements of linear, planar and tonal element.

Eric Torres
Taken from Sunday Globe Magazine
Through a Glass, Brightly The Orlina Phenomenon
29 May 1988

Ramon Orlina shapes forms in tinted glass, clear or frosted, and has mastered the art of fully bringing out the aesthetic qualities of his medium, its transparency or translucency, the mysterious depths of its hues, the particular interest of shaped, convoluted, or involuted form in a transparent medium, whether he works in big solid blocks or in small pieces of a more compact tactile and visual appeal.

Alice G. Guillermo
Taken from "Images of Change"
1988, pg. 35

An artistic idea exists in its purest abstraction - no natural outside referent - and undergoes transformation, revision and sometimes an entirely new trajectory in the process of creation. The block of glass and the idea in progress enter into a give and take process given the characteristics of the medium. Serendipities like a bubble or two trapped within which a technician may consider an imperfection, is exploited to the hilt, highlighted and made an integral part of the composition. This is where the artist is separated from the technician. Orlina, the consummate glass sculptor that he has now become is that kind of an artist. He knows how to exploit the virtue of 'imperfection'

Paul B. Zafaralla
Taken from Marie Claire Chiaroscuro,
Chiaroscuro 2 June 1988

"Whose sculptures are out of this world".

Leonidas V. Benesa
In a personal dedication to artist in his book OKIR, 1982

Orlina's bid for attention as a sculptor of original talent lies in the series of crystal-clear works in the round whose individual components are like cut, many-faceted precious stones. Incredibly heavy and practically unbreakable, the works look like emerald forms in a fantasyland of crystal and ice. The sheer sparkling qualities of the works project an aura that is more mineral than organic, glass being what it is. Chasing Rainbows, on the other hand, in which the artist strove for opaque rather than clear effects, exudes the human exhalation, the breath of life, something animal or alive in any case.

Leonidas V. Benesa
Taken from Daily Express
8 May 1980



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