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.

Myanmar (Burma)


Burma is a model Southeast Asian - type-site for modern cottage industry producing folk pottery. Reliance on pottery in daily life is paramount as substitute materials, such as plastic and aluminum, are not readily available.


At Sagaing, south of Mandalay, most of the female population of the village is involved in the production of pottery for local use. The primitive method of hand building a vessel using a paddle and anvil is still used extensively in Burma today. The village specializes in making one shape-a medium-sized earthenware container for drinking water. Many of the patters are elderly women who are not strong enough to work in the fields but, unfortunately, the younger generations do not seem to be interested in learning the craft of making hand-built pottery.


Shwe-Nyein, northwest of Mandalay on the Irrawaddy River, is another village where pottery is the main occupation. Utilitarian glazed jars and bowls of various sizes are the main products. The output is extensive and the potters are traditional as well as innovative. Shapes included ancient styles and new one, resulting from experimentation with clays and glazes. The clay is indigenous but the glaze materials are imported from the Shan state. Two other pottery centers, Keng Tuung and Mong Tung, are located in the Shan state.


Southern Burma abounds with pottery centers, probably because of the availability of raw materials. Small pottery villages are Papun and Tavoy, and Bassein in the Karen state. The largest center of pottery production in the area is Twante, southeast of Rangoon, where both glazed and unglazed wares are made. Some pieces are hand built and others are thrown on a potter's wheel. Primary glazed products included jars, flowerpots, and small bowls and unglazed jars, pots, and bottles.