Poetry in Function: A Glimpse at Contemporary Filipino Pottery




Molded from the clay of the earth,
Baked under the sun,
Fired in kilns,
Or turned in potters’ wheels,
Pottery has been one
of the oldest forms of human expression.

Pottery is the ceramic ware made by potters. In everyday usage, the term is taken to encompass a wide range of ceramics, including earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain. Either created for functional use or forms that express the artistic sensibility, Philippine pottery has evolved from ritual and community wares to highly sophisticated and elegant artistic pieces with a variety of shape, designs, and uses of glazes.

Contemporary artist-potters in the Philippines have been few but highly versatile in their output. Working in abstract and expressionistic styles, there is the underlying Eastern aesthetics of the Japanese pottery tradition with touches of Western influences. Potters like Jaime de Guzman and Jon Pettyjohn produce one-of-a-kind or very limited edition pieces, while Lanelle Abueva-Fernando, Ugu Bigyan, and Hadrian Mendoza add larger commercial quantities of functional pieces to their artistic output.

Poetry in Function: A Glimpse at Contemporary Filipino Pottery is presented by Yuchengco Museum to compliment the exhibition Zhangzhou Ware Found in the Philippines: “Swatow” Export Ceramics from Fujian 16th – 17th Century.


Sign up to our newsletter

*Email is a required field