Internationally recognized artist Hadrian Mendoza uses innovative firing techniques to present modernized takes on Filipino folk traditions. Join Zenith Gallery in celebrating Mendoza’s solo exhibit, titled “Dangerous Flower”, ceramic creations that are thought provoking and modern while simultaneously paying homage to the ancient art of pottery. In Dangerous Flower, Mendoza explores the dichotomy of danger and beauty. Inspired by the mathematical design of the stamen circulating the pistil, he uses porcelain and stoneware clay to create a contrast in color and texture in his works. Sharp renditions of porcelain stamens are placed in rhythmic patterns that evoke a menacing feel and at the same time bloom with grace. Mendoza says “we all can relate to the Dangerous Flower. Many things in life are appealing but at the same time, have to be approached with caution.”
Hadrian Mendoza is constantly reinventing what it means to be a ceramicist. His pieces are a delicate balance between functionality and high art and he can meld traditional stoneware technique with radical conceptual ideas unlike anyone else. He is present in every process of a given piece, from personally blending glazes and searching for volcanic ash to mix just the right shade, to ensuring that his kiln is properly set with the right atmosphere and temperature for firing. Mendoza is passionate about working and learning about the craft, he says: "Pottery is recreating nature in a more permanent way -- taking things from the earth such as clay, ash, minerals and altering them into your desired shape or form, glazing them with your creativity, firing a piece of clay that might just give you the brightest hue of the sky or the sea or even the universe. It's when you get down and dirty with dirt, ash, and clay that you feel the connection with the earth."
Mendoza began his career as an ‘accidental potter.’ While on vacation to Philippines in the late 1990s, Mendoza saw pieces that sparked his interest in craft; he felt so inextricably drawn to it that he soon moved to the Philippines to become a "full-time" potter. Since then, he has steadily earned international recognition and experience through dozens of solo and group shows around the globe, showcasing his ceramics that are full of grace and movement.
Besides dedicating his time to studio work, Hadrian has also been teaching ceramics since 1999 at his own pottery school in Makati, Philippines. From October of 2004 to December of 2009 he also taught ceramics at The Philippine High School for the Arts, located in Los Banos, Laguna, Philippines, and directed the Ceramics Department at The Brent International School, based in Manila. Hadrian is currently based in Virginia and has been represented by Zenith Gallery since his move to the US in 2010.