Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ring of Fire: The First Southeast Asian Ceramics Festival

As part of the Zero in Periphery Series 2009, 16 Filipino potters and 10 other Southeast Asian ceramic artists showcased their works in the international exhibit entitled Ring of Fire at the Ayala Museum last September 21 to October 4, 2009. The said convergence of ASEAN potters in Makati was the first of its kind in the Philippines.

The 64-works display by the master potters in the region testified to the intensity, passion, and peculiar identity of ASEAN ceramic artists. Influenced by ceramic artists from China, Japan, South Korea, and Australia, they are now drawing fire from each other.

Among the renowned ASEAN potters who participated in the event were Ahadiat Joedawinata of Indonesia; Peter Low, James Seet, Lileng Wong, and Yeow Seng Cheah of Malaysia; Teck Heng Tan and Thomas Cheong of Singapore; Bathma Kaew-Ngok of Thailand; and Bao Toan Nguyen of Vietnam.

Participating Filipino potters included Jon and wife Tessie Pettyjohn of Pansol; Hadrian and wife Camille Mendoza of Makiling; Jaime de Guzman of Candelaria, Quezon; Colorado-based Nelfa Querubin of Iloilo; Manila-based sculptress Julie Lluch of Iligan; Pete Cortes of Bulacan; Pablo Capati of Batangas; Joe Geraldo of Bacolod; Mark Valenzuela of Dumaguete; Winnie Go and Joey de Castro of Makati; Siegrid Bangyay and Lope Bosaing of Sagada.

The participants of the ASEAN show also interacted in a two-day ceramics workshop, which was a great venue for them to exchange information and discuss individual techniques and the creative process of their works. It was also held at the Ayala Museum, particularly at the Luna and Amorsolo rooms, last September 22 and 23.

Ceramic artist Hadrian Mendoza, recipient of a Toyota Foundation networking grant in November 2007, convened and organized this event with the primary goal of “fostering a community among Southeast Asian peoples that celebrates both the diversity and unity of the region through the art and craft of pottery.”

Mendoza hopes for the continuity and expansion of the communications that he has established among fellow ASEAN potters. He has touched base with contemporary potters in Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, and is searching for more modern practitioners of the ancient art of pottery in Brunei and Myanmar. He has also connected with various communities of potters in the Philippines. A website for the project has been created:, which aims to increase active exchanges among the region’s potters.

Ring of Fire was sponsored by Toyota Foundation Japan, Philippine High School for the Arts, Filipino Web Services, and Crown Plastic Products, Inc.

Ring of Fire was Ayala Museum’s choice for 2009’s Zero-In consortium project of the Philippine’s leading private museums. Aside from the Ring of Fire, other scheduled exhibits by participating museums were as follows:

• “Beyond Frame: Philippine Photomedia”
Ateneo Art Gallery
Ateneo de Manila University, Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City
October 1, 2009 - December 15, 2009

• “Deleted Scenes”
Lopez Memorial Museum
Ground Floor of Benpres Building, Exchange Road corner Meralco Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City
November 12, 2009 - January 9, 2010

• “Remembering the Atrocities of War”
Bahay Tsinoy
Kaisa-Angelo King Heritage Center, 32 Anda corner Cabildo Streets, Intramuros
November 12, 2009 - January 9, 2010

• “Invisible Children”
Museo Pambata
Roxas Boulevard corner South Drive, City of Manila
November 26, 2009 - January 5, 2010

Now on its eighth year, Zero-In has focused attention on the strengths of the member museum’s professional expertise, collections, and programming, proposing dynamic alternatives for institutional support and cooperation. Zero-In is a celebration of different art niches in different locations aiming to instill not just the love for our culture but the appreciation of the past and its impact on how we are today as a people. For more info, visit

Ayala Museum is located at De la Rosa St. corner Makati Ave., Greenbelt Park, Makati City. For more information, you may reach them at (632) 757 7117 to 21, email at, or visit


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