Inspired by the principles and discipline of the mingei movement, spearheaded by Japanese philosopher Soetsu Yanagi, the works of Pablo K. Capati III, Marco Rosario, and Jezzel Wee tread the line between function and form. Each piece, embodying what Yanagi writes in The Beauty of Everyday Things, is “wholesomely and honestly made for practical use”, yet does not forsake its aesthetic value; it is pleasing to the eye, but never loses its sincerity.
Pablo K. Capati III’s (b. 1975) ceramic practice centres upon the rigorous and demanding method of wood firing. Using an anagama kiln that he constructed at his studio in San Jose, Philippines, Capati fires his works for a number of days so that the unglazed forms obtain their colour and texture from the flames and melted fly ash. His introduction to ceramics began in Japan where he lived as a teenager. In 1995, whilst studying Business at the University of Southern California, Capati returned to studying ceramics but it was not until some years later that he dedicated himself full-time to his artistic practice. In 2000, Capati established the San Jose Batangas Studio, where he continues to work on his own practice and undertake a regular program of workshops and activities for local and international ceramic artists and students. Capati has exhibited widely in his home country of the Philippines and has participated in group exhibitions in China, USA, Singapore, Thailand, and Australia.
After finishing his bachelor’s degree on Visual Communication in UP Diliman, Marco Rosario (b. 1995) worked in Tsugaru Kanayama Pottery, a Japanese ceramic tableware company, making unglazed wood-fired traditional ceramics. At present, Rosario explores different clay bodies and effects on different firing processes such as wood, gas, and electric firing. He gained his knowledge on ceramics by working with well-known local and international potters and ceramic artists. The style and aesthetics of Tsugaru Kanayama Pottery greatly influence his way of forming, clay surface treatment, and firing.
Jezzel Wee (b. 1991) is a ceramic artist based in Quezon City. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of the Philippines with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts major in Painting. She is the first Filipino to finish a 3-year apprenticeship from the Tsugaru Kanayama Pottery, Aomori, Japan in 2017. Through the years, she has worked and exhibited with various local & international ceramic artists. She is currently teaching at the UP College of Fine Arts and is taking her Master’s at the UP School of Archaeology.