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Sinuous Architecture and Evocative Forms

Ramon Orlina

Art Fair Philippines 2024

Press Release

Sinuous Architecture and Evocative Forms features the new works by Ramon Orlina, the Philippines’ preeminent glass sculptor. Marking the celebration of Orlina’s 80th birth anniversary, this exhibition organized by Art Cube puts a spotlight on the artist’s seamless blend of architectural and figurative finesse and the delicate beauty of glass.

Offering a veritable glimpse into a wide range of Orlina’s stylistic preoccupations—from genre themes such as mother-and-child and graceful nudes to abstract rhapsodies of geometric and curvilinear forms—the exhibition exemplifies the artist’s remarkable ability to evoke a harmonious balance between straight lines and graceful curves, as well as the interplay between solidity and ethereal transparency.

With an acute eye for detail, Orlina’s sculptures evoke the sense of witnessing beauty distilled in his chosen medium. Each piece stands as a testament to the artist’s prowess in capturing the essence of fluidity within the static nature of glass, particularly exemplified by his inspired interpretations of the human body.

Audiences will likewise be captivated by Orlina’s exceptional talent in transforming glass into mesmerizing works of art that effortlessly bridge two seemingly disparate worlds: art and architecture. Not too many people know that the artist is also a licensed architect, who fuses the elegance of his chosen medium with architecture’s emphasis on structural integrity.

Orlina’s choice of glass as a medium—in his signature emerald green as well as in varying gem-like tones—allows the master to play with translucency, even the illusion of softness and movement. His every sculpture doesn’t have a back and a front: each can be appreciated in a multiplicity of vantage points, inviting the viewer to move around it and experience seeing how the work interacts with light.

The exhibition holds profound significance within contemporary Philippine art, offering a compelling showcase of a master artist who remains at the pinnacle of his creative prowess. Never complacent and always pushing the envelope of his artistry, Orlina epitomizes his belief that an artist worth their salt doesn’t have the word “retirement” in their vocabulary.

Sinuous Architecture and Evocative Forms celebrates the legacy of a visionary artist and reaffirms the significance of art as an essential conduit for exploring the beauty of human aspiration. Ramon Orlina’s masterful works serve as beacons of light for current and future generations, urging them to push the boundaries of medium, scale, and the limits of artistic expression.

Carlomar Arcangel Daoana

Ramon Orlina

Ramon G. Orlina, a licensed architect, graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Santo Tomas College of Architecture & Fine Arts in 1965. After gaining four years of experience at C.D. Arguelles and Associates, he founded Ramon Orlina and Associates, specializing in architectural works and project administration. Orlina is also a distinguished member of the College of Fellows of the Philippine Institute of Architects.

In 1975, he held a solo painting exhibition on glass at the Hyatt Gallery in Hyatt Hotel, pioneering the use of glass as an artistic medium in sculpture by 1976. Since then, he transitioned full-time to the arts, exhibiting extensively in the Philippines and globally.

Orlina boasts numerous awards, including the ASEAN Awards for Visual Arts in 1993, Third ASEAN Achievements Awards for Visual Arts in 1994, and The Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL) Award in 2006. The Philippine Institute of Architects honored him with the Gold Medal of Merit Award in 2012, and he received the 2014 People of the Year Award by Stargate PeopleAsia. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte recognized his contributions with the prestigious Presidential Medal of Merit in November 2021.

In 2022, he received the Gat Andres Bonifacio Award, the highest recognition for a Manileño. Orlina's commitment to heritage conservation earned him The Philippine Heritage Award, and his environmental efforts were acknowledged with The Green Gala Award in the previous year.

Internationally, he secured the "Mr. F" prize at the 1999 Toyamura International Sculpture Biennale and won the First Prize in the Sculpture Category of the II Bienale International del Baloncesto en las Bellas Artes 2000 in Madrid, Spain. His glass masterpieces place him among global art luminaries, such as Dale Chihuly of the US and Bertil Vallien of Sweden.

Notable among his outdoor works is "QuattroMondial," a 10.32 meters high, cast bronze and glass sculpture unveiled at the University of Santo Tomas in January 2011.

Orlina's name is synonymous with glass sculpture in the Philippines, and he further solidified his legacy by establishing Museo Orlina in Tagaytay City, Cavite, in December 2013. Celebrating its tenth year, Orlina envisions expanding the museum to include a new wing for showcasing his collection of masterfully painted art cars.

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