Christina Poblador’s sweet, scented art show opens March 21

Poblador as visual artist and musical performer. Photos:

Poblador as visual artist and musical performer. Photos:

Glass and scent are known to excite Manila-born artist Christina ‘Goldie’ Poblador.

In her solo exhibition at the Philippine Center to open on March 21, she will present a collection of blown glass objects inspired by the ylang ylang flower known for its sweet aroma often described as “heavenly.”.

In her exhibit titled “Venus Freed,” she is set to make an impactful statement “lamenting the way Western perfume makers have exploited the flower without attributing the rich scent to its country of origin.” Ylang ylang is a tropical flower commonly found in Southeast Asian countries, such as Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. Its aromatic oil has been extracted for use in perfumes, soaps and aromatherapy candles.

“My work is a statement,” writes Poblador in her blog,

Her statement is how she wants to “awaken in the viewer a sense of his or her existence in relation to nature.” She recalls how she is also interested in the exploration of the senses. She says, “Often I am drawn to the olfactory sense of perception as a medium in contemporary art, and its link to the part of the human brain that remembers and receives memories and emotions.”

Her artist’s statement dwells on her art exploring “themes of oppression, reclamation, and freedom” and using glass, scent, and performance to tell stories.

Poblador graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2015 with an MFA in Glass, a program of study that fosters the development and use of glass for contemporary art. She tells how she left the Philippines to “pursue my dream of studying the art of glassblowing.” She grew up in Industrial Valley.

Before she embarked on a journey toward blown glass art, she was a painter and a sculptor specializing in the human anatomy. She was also a musician and is known to incorporate performance art in her exhibits. “I played the electric guitar and sang for an all-girl punk band called Death by Tampon,” she tells The band has long been in hibernation because its members are “scattered all over the world.”

Poblador’s interest in art blossomed at a young age and nurtured by her parents.

She said, “I started playing the piano when I was 9 and it was my background in music that led me to incorporate it into my artistic practice. My parents loved art, and we went to museums as often as we could. My interest in scent however, was triggered by a very particular moment. In 2009 my village was hit by a very powerful typhoon. When faced with loss the greatest thing we have are our memories. After the typhoon I had a distinct yearning for the smell and tastes of a place that seemed to have disappeared in one instant. This was how I began to work with scent and its special connection to emotions and memories.”

“Venus Freed” runs from March 21 to April 15.

‘Scent has special connection to memories and emotions.’

‘Scent has special connection to memories and emotions.’

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