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Making Light of Art

- Edu Jarque () - December 11, 2011 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - One has barely fully recovered from internationally acclaimed artist Ramon Orlina’s grand 10-meter tall masterwork of bronze and glass – the QuattroMondial – for the Quadricentenial Celebration of the University of Santo Tomas. And yet, one is already faced with Luminosity :The Manila Collection, the latest exhibition of the globally renowned sculptor at the Main Gallery of Galleria Joaquin.

Luminosity was also the show that served as the opening salvo to Art Trek, a series of well-attended art-related events presented by the Embassy of the Philippines in Singapore a few years back, in celebration of the Philippine National Day.

It has finally made its way to Manila.

The array of over 30 major new glass sculptures were a departure from the magnitude that has been deployed by the artist in his monumental work for UST. He has returned to the minimalist work he has become famous for. But his comeback to a more manageable, gallery-friendly scale is no reason to make light of his new pieces, especially given the introduction of a new element in Orlina’s iconography.

If his collectors and fans were to brace themselves for a surprise, it would be for the presence of colors, other than the usual green, what with the artistic oeuvre now welcoming a suite of crystal masterpieces in pink amber, cobalt blue and purple – truly an expansion of the range he is known for.

Despite this change, the format was still very much within his vocabulary, worded perfectly by the well-respected art critic Cid Reyes who declares, “…minimalist, reductive, formalist, without subtracting from the lyricism of their crisp, abstract forms which are marvels of disciplined precision.”

With such skill and passion, it would seem that Orlina indeed is a master of sculpting material, not everyone would agree, is worthy to be inducted to the rank of esteemed media in the production of fine art – glass. But the truth is Orlina sculpts more than just glass – he does light and by sculpting light, he sheds light on the various possibilities there are, when it comes to making and appreciating art. (FREEMAN)

ART ART TREK CID REYES EMBASSY OF THE PHILIPPINES MAIN GALLERY OF GALLERIA JOAQUIN MANILA COLLECTION ORLINA PHILIPPINE NATIONAL DAY QUADRICENTENIAL CELEBRATION OF THE UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS RAMON ORLINA
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