The World of Ram Mallari
Mario “ RAM “ Mallari Jr. (b. 1966), studied architecture, and worked as a draftsman in the Middle East. In 2011, he started experimenting with iron, metal and reclaimed metals. He has mounted 6 one-man exhibitions and countless group exhibitions. His works have been exhibited in the House of Representatives, among other galleries, and most recently, together with sculptors Ed Castrillo, and Michael Cacnio, Mallari was commissioned by the Ayala Museum for a permanent public installation in Nuvali, Laguna.
Mallari, one of the country's more prolific and fast-rising sculptors and presents to the art loving public his working techniques and his recent works. Mallari, earned a reputation as a great innovator in the field of "reclaimed sculpture", coming to prominence in 2011 with his retrofuturistic works with intricate metalwork techniques. In just three years, Mallari has sustained his distinguished career and received international acclaim, the most recent of which is being guest artist and lecturer at the art workshop of the Singapore Science Museum. His practice has become known overseas, being featured on numerous broadcast and print media such as Thompson Reuters, Washington Post, NBC News TV, BBC News, Yahoo, to name a few. He has also been lauded by prominent media locally and in the ASEAN region.
Coming from humble beginnings, Ram was exposed to smithing early in life as some of his family members worked as metalsmiths. Today, the artist perennially visits factories, industrial locations, scrapyards, and shops to buy iron and metal parts coming from industrial pipes, iron gears from dismantled bicycles or even heavy machinery, steel bolts and rods saved from vehicles. He also procures fat and thin flat steel and copper wires and pipes which are residues from old industrial products.
The resultant metal sculptures range from watchtowers, chess pieces, clocks, steam and motor vehicles, zeppelins, ships, to reimagined animals and pop icons. His work explores themes of tension between past and future, and between the alienating and empowering effects of technology. These fragments of reclaimed scrap iron are repurposed into a visionary nostalgia and paradoxically linked to a utopian future. The underlying motivation is presented as an artistic manifesto on the current state of how we use technology and ecology. Mallari’s visionary utopia, is not just a concept, but a benchmark on how we can change our living situation in relation to both our environment and with technology.