George Rodriguez addresses sensitive sociopolitical issues through his highly ornamented figurative ceramic sculptures with a tongue in cheek ease that is evident in the sense of warmth his works convey. Themes of culture and identity recur throughout his sculpture, celebrating the unique attributes of diverse cultures as well as the similarities that unite us all. His series of large-scale sculptural ceramic heads look back on his heritage and anticipate the expanded 'Urban Guardian' series several years later.
Francisco Serrão (died 1521) was a Portuguese explorer and a cousin of Ferdinand Magellan. His 1512 voyage was the first known European sailing east past Malacca through Indonesia and the Indies. He became a confidante of the Sultan Bayan Sirrullah, the ruler of Ternate, becoming his personal advisor. He remained in Ternate where he died around the same time Magellan died.