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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Internship program: We already closed the call for museum interns. We will have another batch in May. For Library Internships (UP Vargas Museum - Library and Archives), please check details posted here. Beyond Myself: Filipino Migrants' Investments in Philippine Futures is on its fifth week of viewing. This Curating Development exhibition is open until 28 March 2018. Books, reports, and other materials about #migration #policy are available for reading at the 3F South Wing, courtesy of colleagues from Goldsmiths - University of London, Scalabrini Migration Center Philippines, Enrich HK, Department of Sociology of The University of Hong Kong - HKU - 香港大學, and Keele University. The Living Architecture Exhibition is on view until 7 April 2018. Here is one of the four Tiyad structures created by Indy Paredes on the porches of the museum. Paredes will be joined by architecture and urban planning specialists on 24 March for the Artkitektura Exhibit Encounters 3: Vargas Conversations - "How can we make our cities more human?" Activity details will soon be posted on our Facebook event page. @artkitekturafestival Beyond Myself: Filipino Migrants' Investments in Philippine Futures at the 3F Galleries is extended until 28 March 2018. For guided tours, please send a message to

Image: One of the work journals created by London-based Filipino migrant workers through the Curating Development project with Kanlungan Filipino Consortium and Filipino Domestic Workers Association UK. We are extending the runs of the two shows here at Vargas:
1F - Living Architecture Exhibition: 7 April 2018
3F - Beyond Myself: Filipino Migrants' Investments in Philippine Futures: 28 March 2018 The internship program of the Vargas Museum is a good opportunity to understand and experience museum work. The museum invites undergraduate and graduate students of Art Studies, Humanities, Fine Arts, Curatorial Studies, Museum Studies, Cultural Heritage, History, Library Science, and Archives Studies to apply:

Please send applications to with subject line “INTERN-Museum APR 2018”. The program is designed to give the intern an overview of museum practices: collections management, curation, exhibition coordination, and educational programming. For March 2018, we need interns to assist with research of objects, manuscripts, and memorabilia for upcoming exhibitions.

Library and Archives INTERNS
Please send applications to with subject line “INTERNS-Library 2018”. Application is all year round.

Interns will index the serials collection, digitize the archive and memorabilia collection, and contribute to the inventory of the library collection. Applicants are preferably Library Science majors.
928-1927 during office hours

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