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Monday, January 7, 2013

THE Bluewater Gallery in Bluewater Maribago Beach Resort thought that it would be a fitting way to end 2012 on a beautiful and light note, as it proudly brought the work of one such Romulo Olazo to Cebu in partnership with the Paseo Gallery. The result was the anticipated solo exhibit of diaphanous works by the artist to cap a fantastic year.

Artist Romulo Gamez Olazo, more fondly known as Ola by his peers, is one of the prime movers of the Philippine contemporary art since the early ‘70s.

He was awarded the coveted Thirteen Artists Award by the Cultural Center of the Philippines in 1973 among other distinguished awards he received in an illustrious career that spanned five decades, the gallery said in a statement.


The awards kicked off as early as 1963 when Ola bagged the first prize in the mobile category during the Philippine Advertising Counselors Inc. Annual Art Competition.

Several awards after, he was distinguished the Thirteen Artists Award in 1972. His most recent achievement saw him handpicked as The Ayala Museum Director’s Choice for 2008.

The Director’s Choice is a special exhibition held once a year within the ArtistSpace calendar at the Ayala Museum. Artists selected range from National Artists to artists exhibiting unusual promise, said in an article posted on the museum’s website.

He [Olazo] gained recognition as a print maker in 1979 when his works gained an honorable mention in the 11th International Biennial Exhibition of Prints in Tokyo back. Olazo successfully held 35 individual shows here and abroad and participated in various major international shows, including painting exhibits in Singapore, Guam, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur. His paintings are also well represented in internationally-renowned auction houses, like Christie’s in Hong Kong, where one of his Permutation series had a hammer price that was double the estimated market value, the site added.

On an interesting footnote, this exhibit at the Bluewater Gallery was Olazo’s debut in the Cebuano art scene. Diaphanous by the Sea, as the exhibit was aptly called, brought out a series of works that showcased a surreal play of transparencies and light.

The word diaphanous after all is defined by Merriam-Webster as characterized by such fineness of texture as to permit seeing through, or characterized by extreme delicacy of form: ethereal.

Having the exhibit at a gallery by the beach couldn’t be any more right. The artist being born and raised in Balayan, Batangas, Philippines, had the opportune time to display works of his that hinted of his love for the waters. The collection features 20 diaphanous works on canvas, carefully selected pieces to aptly fit the theme and venue of the one-of-a-kind exhibition. These artworks are inspired by the majesty of the ocean in shapes, hues and colors that only an artist of Romulo Olazo’s caliber can visualize and articulate into canvas, the gallery statement assured.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 08, 2013.


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