signed and dated 1996 (lower right)
carved asahi glass
12” x 6”x 8 1/2 (30 cm x 15 cm x 22 cm)
Alchemy, a precursor of the modern sciences, is the amalgamation of scientific procedures and of arcane imagination. It was usually aimed at the purification of base metals to gold and the concoction of an “elixir of life everlasting.” This is how Ramon Orlina alludes to his art being “arcane and alchemic.” Aside from his “alchemic” procedures, Orlina’s sculptural outcome purvey the sense of clarity and purity of both his medium and form when light penetrates the glass, sans the gold.
Life everlasting for Orlina is seen through the interior forms of the glass multiplied, thus the viewer is offered a view of infinity and life everlasting. “Asias’ Wizard of Glass,” another honorific given to the sculptor, is due to his arbitration of both sculptural aesthetic and architectural science as well as for his strong satirical artworks featuring the vaudevillian bacchanalia of Philippine life with its colorful characters. A consummate storyteller with his strong visual narratives, his works depict a never-ending tapestry peopled with characters that are products of his painstaking research and gimlet-eyed interest in details.