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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Session Advisory: The Art Workshops of Fernando B. Sena at the Vargas Basement concluded last 2 December. Sessions and registration will resume on 20 January 2018. More than a hundred guests gather at the public reception of Place of Region in the Contemporary on 8 December 2017, Friday. 
UP Vargas Museum opens this first project of the Philippine Contemporary Art Network (PCAN) built through three nodes in a network: Knowledge Production and Circulation; Exhibition and Curatorial Analysis; Public Engagement and Artistic Formation. The project endeavors to activate a network to coordinate a range of interventions in contemporary art in the Philippines and to cast a sharper profile for it on an inter-local and trans-regional scale. It is keen to confront the requirements of research and discourse; curate art and subject the curatorial gesture to critique; and propose modes of catalyzing the public sphere of art and in the process harness the energies of its agents. The project at the UP Vargas Museum will run until 27 January 2018. Public programs for the project will happen next year. The Philippine Contemporary Art Network (PCAN) will open its initial project at the Vargas Museum on 8 December 2017 at 4pm. For more information, visit or the Facebook event page of the project: Place of Region in the Contemporary DEVOUR will close today at 5pm at the 3F Galleries.  We thank all who visited the show. Place of Region in the Contemporary will open next Friday, 8 December 2017 at 4pm. Please take note of our schedule until 08 December 2017:

30 November (Thursday)
Non-working Holiday (Bonifacio Day)

01 December (Friday)
Last day of DEVOUR show at the 3F Galleries

02-07 December (Saturday-Thursday)
Galleries are closed for ingress of new show. Offices are open as usual. 
08 December (Friday) at 4pm
Opening reception of Place of Region in the Contemporary FINAL WEEK: Katti Sta Ana's Devour is on view until 1 December 2017, Friday. We are closed on Thursday for public holiday.

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