Laruan a force in Queen’s art world

Fine Arts student pushes the boundaries with her work

Some of Ramolen's recent work, displayed in her studio.
Credit: 
Supplied by Ramolen Laruan

Ramolen Laruan, BFA ’18, always had a talent for science but a passion for the arts.

“My parents always thought I would end up in math or science…they would always say, “What do you mean you are going to be a professional artist?””

Originally from the Philippines but growing up in Toronto, she thought of art as a hobby. “Growing up, I was the artsy one, because I wore a ‘jean jacket’. It was never really formal until I started getting my degree,” she said.

“It was really random for me to tell my teachers I’m taking art, they all thought I would go into science.”

Now in her third year at Queen’s, Laruan focuses on printmaking and painting as her preferred media. Her artistic interests though are quite diverse, including extra-curricular film and graphic design classes.

Laruan has also always been active in art-themed clubs, everything from drama to film. This year, she is the Editor-In-Chief of The Undergraduate Review, a completely student-run publication focusing on literature and arts. “I like the idea of curating other artists,” she said.

In addition to her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, Laruan is also taking a minor in Art History. Although scholarly work in art interests her passions lean towards working in a gallery or with other artists.

“There’s art for art’s sake and art for a social purpose. I want my art to question what is going on,” Laruan said.

Currently addressing the challenging perceptions of women’s bodies in the digital age, “I am really interested in how our bodies are used and distributed on the Internet,” Laruan explained.

The artist uses representations of her nude body to question why people view women are viewed, either as hyper-sexualized or feeble and vulnerable.

This has manifested itself in her piece entitled Here’s Your Hard Copy, a picture of the artist’s breasts transposed on stone. The piece explores how people react to the body differently when it’s a physical entity rather than merely a picture on a phone.

“The nude is such an overdone thing in art but now we are in this transition age so what happens with that? What effect will technology have on our bodies?” Laraun asked.

Another area of interest is the censorship of art that contains female nudity. She hopes to challenge commonly-held ideas of decency and how these ideas unfairly target women. 

As a fan of cinema and photography, she was a photographer for Homecoming during her first year, the current president of the Board of Directors at the Union Gallery, serves on the executive team of Queen's Expressions and is a docent at the Agnes Etherington Centre, along with her work at The Undergraduate Review.  

“Maybe I’ll have my own gallery or studio…I think I’m more the kind who would think of the ideas, but I would probably hire people to do it for me,” Laruan said, laughing. 

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.