SCULPTOR Ramon Orlina, the artist behind Quattromondial, the monument erected at the Quadricentennial Park in 2011 during the 400th anniversary of UST, has inaugurated Museo Orlina in Tagaytay City, a showcase not only of his sculptures and other art pieces but of Philippine visual arts in general.

Formally opened last April, the modern four-story building houses new and old works of the pioneer in glass sculpture, ranging from his exquisite glass works to his splendid bronze pieces.

All of the museum’s levels are named after Orlina’s children.

The first floor, Naesa, named after Orlina’s eldest daughter, includes the Reflections Gallery, which mounts exhibits by other Filipino artists.

The gallery extends to the lower level, which also serves as passage to the Sculpture Garden and Amphitheater, where other art pieces may also be displayed.

Sprawled across the garden are some of Orlina’s bigger sculptures as well as other works of Filipino artists, including those by National Artist Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera and contemporary artist Daniel de la Cruz.

Ningning, the museum’s second level highlights Orlina’s works from his early days to his more recent exhibits. “Child in Woman’s Womb,” which dates back to the 1980s, depicted an unborn baby at the center of a block of green asahi glass, like a mother’s womb.

A glass sculpture from one of Orlina’s exhibits in 2012, “Virgin Maria” shows a woman, resembling Da Vinci’s famous Mona Lisa, who manifests different facial expressions from various angles, maximizing the concave feature of glass.

Maquettes, or miniature versions Orlina’s works, are in the third level, named Anna, after his youngest daughter. On the walls are photographs of Orlina’s indoor and outdoor works spanning three decades, including the Quattromondial statue of UST.

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Overlooking the Taal Lake and volcano, Michael, the museum’s roof deck, has a coffee shop.

Orlina finished Architecture in UST.

Filipino art masters

For its first exhibit, the Reflections Gallery mounted Maestro from April 9 to May 31.

It featured acrylic-on-canvas paintings by National Artists Arturo Luz and J. Elizalde Navarro and modern masters Romulo Olazo and Juvenal Sanso, all Thomasians.

“Icarus” showed Navarro’s signature use of vivid hues in his abstract painting, depicting the mythological character.

“Abandoned Palace” showed Luz’s penchant for geometric shapes: clean-cut squares and domes in black and white limn the lone palace of the title set on a red background.

Portraying a small boat in the middle of the sea, Sanso’s painting “With Unconstrained Magnifence” rendered the scenery in blue and green with small patches of brown portraying rocky shores.

Olazo was the lone artist to use oil in his black and white abstract piece “Diaphanous 978” that featured multiple layers of different curvilinear forms.

Paul Siat, a manager, said the museum was originally planned to be constructed in Taal, Batangas, Orlina’s hometown, but Tagaytay proved the better fit for the museum’s modern design.

“It's a great location, many people visit on weekends,” he said. “Besides, it's time for the Filipino people to be educated about art.” Elyssa Christine A. Lopez and Aliliana Margarette T. Uyao

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