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.
Editor of World Sculpture News and Asian Art News
Taken from "Reflections" exhibition catalog, 2000
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.
Artist and Designer specialising in contemporary glass who
also undertakes consultancy positions in the arts and arts
Taken from "Beyond Hollywood - Glass in the Philippines",
Craft Arts International, 2000
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.
Art Critic based in Seattle,Washington
Taken from GLASS: The Urban Glass Art, Quarterly Magazine
Summer 1997 issue
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.
Taken from Orlina's dazzling sculptures
Business Times 22 April 1995
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.
Taken from "A Touch of Glass" Exhibition catalog,
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.
Taken from Forms of Light exhibition catalog,
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?
Taken from Orlina's Green Fire
Taipan Magazine, November 1990
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.
Taken from Sunday Inquirer Magazine
Orlina's Latest: A Salute The Breast 16 Sept. 1990
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.
Taken from Sunday Globe Magazine
Through a Glass, Brightly The Orlina Phenomenon
29 May 1988
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.
Taken from "Images of Change"
1988, pg. 35
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
Taken from Marie Claire Chiaroscuro,
Chiaroscuro 2 June 1988
sculptures are out of this world".
In a personal dedication to artist in his book OKIR, 1982
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.
Taken from Daily Express
8 May 1980