Arcanum XIX: Paradise Gained

arcanum xix
Arcanum XIX: Paradise Gained | @natmuseumph

Arcanum XIX: Paradise Gained

The National Museum of the Philippines celebrates the 77th birth anniversary of renowned glass sculptor Ramon Orlina who was born on the 27th of January 1944.

Found at the Shell Philippines Centennial Courtyard of the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), is Orlina’s “Paradise (Arcanum XIX: Paradise Gained).” Completed in 1976, this was Orlina’s first major glass sculpture.

It was commissioned for the lobby of the Silahis International Hotel in Malate, Manila, much later reconstructed and re-installed at the NMNH in 2017, and launched in time for the public opening of the NMNH on May 18, 2018.

This imposing work of art that greets viewers at the NMNH is made of green glass cullets assembled together on 12 geometrically-shaped steel frames. Looking closely at this glass artwork, one may see drops of water inside the cullets.

The National Museum of the Philippines extends its gratitude to Pacific Wide Holdings, Inc., Waterfront Philippines, Inc., and the Gatchalian Family for the generous loan of this masterpiece.

Two of his carved green glass sculptures namely: “Gothic” (1988) and “Lumba-Lumba” (1989) are part of the National Fine Arts Collection and may be viewed inside the Hall of Philippine Modern Sculpture at the National Museum of Fine Arts.

Just recently, Orlina and his wife, Lay Ann, personally gifted Director-General Jeremy Barns and Deputy Director-General for Museums Dr. Ana Maria Theresa Labrador, two glass sculptures entitled “Community of Joy” (Carved peach amber glass, 2020) and “Elegance in Simplicity” (Carved green glass, 2020). These sculptures were then turned over to form part of the National Fine Arts Collection, as per established museum policy.

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