Hadrian Mendoza

ceramic artist

Hadrian Mendoza, a stoneware Potter, works with a fearless and audacious search for unusual and indigenous forms, including expressionistic and abstract shapes. Mendoza was a graduate at Mary Washington College in Virginia and a former student at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington DC, where he was awarded the prestigious Anne and Arnold Abramson award for Excellence in Ceramics in 1996-1997.  He also organized the 1st Southeast Asian Ceramics Festival under the 2007-2009 Toyota Foundation Japan Grant. He curated the 2nd Southeast Asian Ceramics Conference and Exhibition in Fuping Pottery Art Village’s FLICAM International Ceramics Museum in China. 

In 1997 he searched for his roots and moved back to the Philippines, where he slowly metamorphosed into an individualistic and nationalistic artist with a keen and hungry eye for Southeast Asia’s indigenous forms. He has made deliberate attempts at achieving heavy cultural undertones for his works. A humble craftsman, Mendoza serves at the feet of his own cultural dilemmas as an artist.

His works are permanent collections in museums in Cambodia,  China, Korea, Japan, and 3 of the main museums in the Philippines, which are The Metropolitan Museum Manila, The Ayala Museum, and BenCab Museum.

"Form and Balance" Philippine Inquirer November 27, 2006 by Erlinda Bolido

Potter Hadrian Mendoza teams up with uncle Rachy Cuna for an exhibition of ceramic pieces and sculpture.

When Hadrian Mendoza had his first pottery exhibit about a decade ago, His uncle Rachy Cuna  was perhaps the proudest of all, touting the show to his friends and acquaintances like a veteran impresario who knew he has a winner on his hands.

Mendoza was an accidental potter. He was home for an extended vacation, having lived in the United States for several years, when a serendipitous meeting with ceramic artist Jon Pettyhohn got him interested in pottery.  After this show, he went back to the US for a while, then returned to become a "full-time" potter, making a name for himself and partnering with Pettyjohn in the Pettyhon-Mendoza workshop.  Meanwhile his uncle, originally celebrated for his innovative and trend-setting floral arrangements, had also moved on, putting his talents to bear on such diverse projects as events and home-styling, painting, jewelry and home-accessory design.

Collaboration

It was not before uncle and nephew decided it was time for a family project, a joint show.  Both Cuna and Mendoza agree it was the younger man who broached the idea of a collaborative exhibit.  For Cuna, it was an opportunity to explore yet another field he had been wanting to go into- sculpture.  "I had been doing sculpture but this is the first time I exhibit my work," he said.  After a year of gestation the show "Reunion- balance and form" was born.  It features 30 sculptures by Cuna and 60 pottery items by Mendoza.  They divided the owrk by having Cuna take care of balance and Mendoza in charge of form.

Cuna's sculpted pieces are literally balancing acts- metal figures, many of them with human forms, holding crystal globes, feet firmly planted on solid kamagong blocks.  The position of the feet changes ever so subtly, almost unnoticeable at first glance, from one image to the next.