Art, Exhibit, South Wing Gallery

Flesh | Sandra Palomar and Nolet Soliven

Sandra Palomar and Nolet Soliven
25 August – 24 September 2011
3rd Floor South Wing Gallery

The UP Vargas Museum opens Flesh, an exhibition reflecting on the myriad interpretations of the female body in art and language featuring the works of Sandra Palomar and Nolet Soliven, and materials from the museum’s library and archives.

Nolet Soliven, "Flesh" (detail), 2011

Soliven’s work, a monumental piece of drawing and painting on paper, presents larger-than-life cropped images of the female nude, distorting the viewers’ sense of scale as they encounter the female body in parts. Palomar, on the other hand, installs Marcelino Sanchez’s Nude Study from the Vargas Museum art collection viewed only through a peeping hole, limiting the viewers’ gaze to a fixed point. Both artists try to intimate the trajectories of representing the female body in art: from line and contour to mass; and from entirety to parts suggesting the marked presence of photography in the latter half of the 20th century.

Engaging in a dialogue with the works of the two artists is Richard Ewell Elkins’s Manobo-English Dictionary published in 1968 from the Vargas Museum Library collection, a sound installation by Palomar, and another work from the Vargas art collection, Antonio Dumlao’s Sultana. Elkin’s dictionary is only one among many publications in the museum’s library attempting to define and translate the entire range of vocabulary related to the female figure. These terminologies depict stages in a woman’s life, bodily parts and functions, and occupational and mythical connections to society which vary between dialects and ethnicity. Palomar’s sound installation brings life to these written texts in aural form, reciting them in a manner which makes the litany of foreign words sound like poetic invocations to an eternal muse.

Accompanying the exhibition are the following collateral events: a walk-through with the two artists on 31 August, 3–4 PM during the formal opening of the exhibition; and an artist’s talk with Palomar and Eileen Legaspi-Ramirez on 14 September, 2–4 PM.

The exhibition formally opens on 31 August, 4:00 PM, with Hong Kong Intervention featuring Sun Yuan and Peng Yu.

Sandra Palomar (b. 1971, Manila) lived in France after a BFA in painting from the UP College of Fine Arts. Upon completion of a masteral degree, she received a prize for multi-media from the foundation of the Ecole Nationale Supérièure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Her work embraces new media and expressions (installation, performance, photography and video) having worked closely with French and foreign contemporary artists while attending the Ecole. She has a series of ongoing tableaux vivant that has been performed widely. Palomar endeavors to breach the gap between subject and experience in art through translation and dissemination. She founded and presides over a non-profit art association for Filipinos based in France (Sanlikha) while based in Manila. She considers her resettlement in the country as part of her art process. She is establishing studios in the country as a laboratory and training facility for cultural workers and fine artists. Nolet Soliven (b. 1965, Manila) holds a BA in economics and a BFA in painting from the University of the Philippines in Diliman. He was a Fine Arts lecturer at the U.P. College of Baguio for four years before receiving a two-year study grant in 2003 to attend the Academia di Belle Arti in Florence, Italy. He has had a number of solo shows locally, most recently at Art Forum, Singapore.


About Jorge B. Vargas Museum

It aims to preserve its collection donated by Jorge B. Vargas and conducts research, exhibitions, publications, and educational programs. The Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center houses a museum, archives, and library devoted to the Philippine history, art, and culture from the late 19th century until the post-war era. Its main beneficiaries are students, faculty, researchers and scholars of the Philippines and Asia.



  1. Pingback: Exercise 001: Translation in Art Making « Jorge B. Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center - September 14, 2011

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"Transpersonal, instructions" opens tonight at 6pm! Participants include Oreet Ashery, Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen, Merlinda Bobis, Patrick D. Flores, Eisa Jocson, The Karrabing Film Collective, Dana Klisanin, Leslie Kulesh, Andy Lacey, Russ Ligtas, Raquel de Loyola, Elizabeth A. Povinelli, Mark Salvatus, Evelyn Toacheng Wang, and César H. Villanueva. Eisa Jocson performs a new work tonight at 7:30pm. "Transpersonal>Postnormal Times" symposium will happen tomorrow. Registration is already closed. Seats will be given to walk-in visitors should online registrants fail to register before 10am.
"Transpersonal, instructions" opens tomorrow, Friday at 6pm. Eisa Jocson performs a new work at 7:30pm. The exhibit reception is open to the public. Vehicle access to the museum will be through the southeast gate near the CAL Building. Please refer to our Facebook page for the map. Registration for the "Symposium: Transpersonal>Postnormal Times" on Saturday is already closed. Seats will be given to walk-in visitors should online registrants fail to register before 10am.
ADVISORY: The museum will be closed tomorrow. Regular operations resume on Tuesday, 11 December 2018.
Advisory for the Closing Event of LAWAS tomorrow, 7 December 2018.
Dr. Elizabeth A. Povinelli of Karrabing Film Collective keynotes “Transpersonal>Postnormal Times” Symposium at the Vargas Museum on 15 December 2018. Registration can be completed online: The symposium is free and open to the public. Priority seating will be given to those who register early and online. Transpersonal>Postnormal Times is a one-day public symposium to support the exhibition Transpersonal, instructions. The symposium will be held on 15 December from 10am to 5pm and includes public events, lectures, instructions, panel meditations alongside sonic scores in the open exchange of the project. The symposium centers on the changing conditions for artists practising today in Manila and surrounding provinces and those working outside of the Philippines. Dr. Elizabeth A. Povinelli is an esteemed anthropologist and the Franz Boas Professor of Anthropology in Columbia University, New York. Povinelli describes her practice: “My writing has focused on developing a critical theory of late liberalism that would support an anthropology of the otherwise. Informed primarily by the traditions of American pragmatism and continental immanent theory and grounded in the circulation of values, materialities, and socialities. This potential theory has unfolded primarily from within a sustained relationship with Indigenous colleagues in north Australia and across five books, numerous essays, and four films with the Karrabing Film Collective. Geontologies: A Requiem to Late Liberalism was the 2017 recipient of the Lionel Trilling Book Award. Karrabing films were awarded the 2015 Visible Award and the 2015 Cinema Nova Award Best Short Fiction Film, Melbourne International Film Festival and have shown internationally including in the Berlinale Forum Expanded, Sydney Biennale; MIFF, the Tate Modern, documenta-14, and the Contour Biennale.” Her publications include: Geontologies: A Requiem to Late Liberalism; Economies of Abandonment: Social Belonging and Endurance in Late Liberalism; The Empire of Love: Toward a Theory of Intimacy, Genealogy, and Carnality, A Public Planet Book, among others.
The Vargas Permanent Art Collection at the 2F Main Gallery is open for viewing from Tuesday to Saturday, 9am-5pm except holidays. For tours, please e-mail us at "Transpersonal, instructions" will open at the 1F and 3F Galleries on 14 December 2018. More information will be posted on the project's Facebook Event Page.

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