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.

TREE OF LIFE: 4th Southeast Asian Ceramics Festival

“Tree of Life: 4th Southeast Asian Ceramics Festival” by Hadrian Mendoza The tree of Life has been a common symbol associated with cosmography and religion throughout Southeast Asia.   Southeast Asia reflects the ethnic and religious diversity of the region’s people who have beliefs rooted in Buddhism, Islam, Christianity and Hindu.  Through this exhibition, 40 artists explored their roots in relation to “The Tree of Life.”  Despite different religious backgrounds they have come together to discover how this sacred tree connects them to the past and to the next life.   As artists, they have imagined and created a piece that maps the heavens and the earth through a material that has been used since humans have walked this planet. On the opening day celebration of the exhibit, the last candle burned down in the pitch-dark lobby of The Ayala Museum in Makati, Philippines as darkness and silence filled the room.  The audience broke out in cheers and applause as performance and ceramic artist Jason Lim had just completed his piece titled “The Cycle” in which he balanced a branch from a cherry tree on his head, 12 feet in length, for almost 1 hour.  During the performance the audience was encouraged to participate by lighting candles and fusing them to the branch using melted wax.  The performance lasted the amount of time that it took for the final candle to burn down.  This was the end of Lim’s performance, and at the same time marked the beginning of the opening reception of “Tree of Life” exhibition, which took place at the 3rd floor gallery of The Ayala Museum from November 28, 2016 to January 15, 2017. The event also included a 3 day workshop oflectures and demonstrations by presenting artists Soe Yu Nwe (Myanmar), Pang Swee Tuan (Singapore), Jason Lim (Singapore), Sekporn Tansripraparsiri (Thailand), Pim Sudhikam (Thailand), Noi Morton Gonzales (Philippines), Tessie Baldo (Philippines) and Eiair (Thailand).  Artists who exhibited their works include Thomas Cheong, Hui Min Teo, Todd Tok, Alvin Tan Teck Heng, Steven Low, Nelson Lim, Ng Yang Ce and Madhvi Subrahmanian from Singapore, Suwanee Natewong, Krisaya Luenganantakul, Nino Sarabutra, Smith Takroodkaew, Naidee Changmoh and Sayumporn Kasornsuwan from Thailand,  Hadrian Mendoza, Winnie Go, Mark Valenzuela, Pablo Capati, Rita Badilla-Gudio, Jon Pettyjohn, Tessy Pettyjohn, Siegrid Bangyay, Krista Nogueras and Catcat Mendoza from the Philippines, Vooi Yam Tan, James Seet, Cheah Yeow Seng and Lileng Wong from Malaysia, Antin Sambodo, Endang Lestari, Natas Setiabudhi and Chia Huie from Indonesia. A wide range of techniques were demonstrated such as cutting with wires to create a waved texture, using drill bits of varied sizes to emulate a coral reef,  attaching coils of different thicknesses and lengths to create roots of a tree, sculpting a human torsoby addition and subtraction, and even using needles as tools to create tiny sculptures that seem to be microscopic.  Participants also gave lectures about their works and specific customs related to their respective countries. The pieces in the exhibition reflected personal ideas and interpretations of the theme.  There were many images related to that of a tree, including branches, stumps, leaves, birds nests, cacti and roots.  There were also symbolic images such as thoughts from one’s mind, achieving zen through audio headphones, corals and arms grabbing one another. “Tree of Life” marks the 4th of a series of Southeast Asian ceramics conferences that travel the globe and focus on introducing contemporary ceramic artists from this region, and at the same time creating a synergy and tight bond among the participants.  The Southeast Asian region is made up of 10 countries which include Thailand, Myanmar, Singapore, the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Brunei, Cambodia, Malaysia and Indonesia.  This group is referred to as SEApots and is comprised of over 150 ceramic artists from these countries.  The concept and formation of SEApots was developed by this author and was made possible through generous grants from Toyota Foundation Japan,  Asian Cultural Council, FLICAM museums and The Ayala Foundation.

“Tree of Life: 4th Southeast Asian Ceramics Festival”

by Hadrian Mendoza

The tree of Life has been a common symbol associated with cosmography and religion throughout Southeast Asia.   Southeast Asia reflects the ethnic and religious diversity of the region’s people who have beliefs rooted in Buddhism, Islam, Christianity and Hindu.  Through this exhibition, 40 artists explored their roots in relation to “The Tree of Life.”  Despite different religious backgrounds they have come together to discover how this sacred tree connects them to the past and to the next life.   As artists, they have imagined and created a piece that maps the heavens and the earth through a material that has been used since humans have walked this planet.

On the opening day celebration of the exhibit, the last candle burned down in the pitch-dark lobby of The Ayala Museum in Makati, Philippines as darkness and silence filled the room.  The audience broke out in cheers and applause as performance and ceramic artist Jason Lim had just completed his piece titled “The Cycle” in which he balanced a branch from a cherry tree on his head, 12 feet in length, for almost 1 hour.  During the performance the audience was encouraged to participate by lighting candles and fusing them to the branch using melted wax.  The performance lasted the amount of time that it took for the final candle to burn down.  This was the end of Lim’s performance, and at the same time marked the beginning of the opening reception of “Tree of Life” exhibition, which took place at the 3rd floor gallery of The Ayala Museum from November 28, 2016 to January 15, 2017.

The event also included a 3 day workshop oflectures and demonstrations by presenting artists Soe Yu Nwe (Myanmar), Pang Swee Tuan (Singapore), Jason Lim (Singapore), Sekporn Tansripraparsiri (Thailand), Pim Sudhikam (Thailand), Noi Morton Gonzales (Philippines), Tessie Baldo (Philippines) and Eiair (Thailand).  Artists who exhibited their works include Thomas Cheong, Hui Min Teo, Todd Tok, Alvin Tan Teck Heng, Steven Low, Nelson Lim, Ng Yang Ce and Madhvi Subrahmanian from Singapore, Suwanee Natewong, Krisaya Luenganantakul, Nino Sarabutra, Smith Takroodkaew, Naidee Changmoh and Sayumporn Kasornsuwan from Thailand,  Hadrian Mendoza, Winnie Go, Mark Valenzuela, Pablo Capati, Rita Badilla-Gudio, Jon Pettyjohn, Tessy Pettyjohn, Siegrid Bangyay, Krista Nogueras and Catcat Mendoza from the Philippines, Vooi Yam Tan, James Seet, Cheah Yeow Seng and Lileng Wong from Malaysia, Antin Sambodo, Endang Lestari, Natas Setiabudhi and Chia Huie from Indonesia.

A wide range of techniques were demonstrated such as cutting with wires to create a waved texture, using drill bits of varied sizes to emulate a coral reef,  attaching coils of different thicknesses and lengths to create roots of a tree, sculpting a human torsoby addition and subtraction, and even using needles as tools to create tiny sculptures that seem to be microscopic.  Participants also gave lectures about their works and specific customs related to their respective countries.

The pieces in the exhibition reflected personal ideas and interpretations of the theme.  There were many images related to that of a tree, including branches, stumps, leaves, birds nests, cacti and roots.  There were also symbolic images such as thoughts from one’s mind, achieving zen through audio headphones, corals and arms grabbing one another.

“Tree of Life” marks the 4th of a series of Southeast Asian ceramics conferences that travel the globe and focus on introducing contemporary ceramic artists from this region, and at the same time creating a synergy and tight bond among the participants.  The Southeast Asian region is made up of 10 countries which include Thailand, Myanmar, Singapore, the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Brunei, Cambodia, Malaysia and Indonesia.  This group is referred to as SEApots and is comprised of over 150 ceramic artists from these countries.  The concept and formation of SEApots was developed by this author and was made possible through generous grants from Toyota Foundation Japan,  Asian Cultural Council, FLICAM museums and The Ayala Foundation.

Kohler Bold. Art. Asia. exhibition hits the Philippine shores

Kohler Bold. Art. Asia to hit Philippine shores on May 18-24

Six artists from Asia create exquisitely crafted pieces for Kohler’s Bold. Art. Asia Exhibition to be showcased in The Gallery, Greenbelt 5

Manila, Philippines – After successful exhibitions in Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea, and Singapore, the Kohler Bold. Art. Asia Exhibition finally makes its way to the Philippines. Running from May 18 to 24 at The Gallery in Greenbelt 5, Kohler brings 12 art pieces by artists from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, The Philippines, and Vietnam.

Kohler has been involved in the Arts and has been supporting art for more than 40 years since the launch of its Arts/Industry program in the US. More than 500 emerging and established artists have finished their residency program in the headquarters. In recent years, Kohler has brought this to Asia, first introducing the said program last 2012 in China. Since then, different programs and projects to promote the arts in Asia have been organized by Kohler, and this year, Kohler continues to put emphasis on their commitment to the arts and support of Asian artists through the Kohler Bold.Art Exhibition.

“Through organizing this program, we aim at promoting art and supporting the local artists from Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, The Philippines and Vietnam by giving them international exposure,” said Benjamin Chang, Kohler Marketing Communication Manager for South East Asia.

The featured artists include Ahadiat Joedawinata from Indonesia, James Seet from Malaysia, Thomas Cheong from Singapore, Sudsiri Pui-Ock from Thailand, Nguyen Ngoc Lam from Vietnam, and Hadrian Mendoza from The Philippines. The six explored the theme “Asian Contemporary Art: Rooted in the Past; Looking into the Future” from their own cultural and personal point of view.

“In the future, we will continue to proactively promote art in Asia. We hope to collaborate with different parties, like developers, local artists, art associations to organize art exhibitions in different cities in Asia,” ends Chang.

For more information on the Kohler Bold. Art. Exhibition, please visit http://blog.kohlerboldart.com/about.php.