Ten years ago, Pablo Capati III spent his nights running Rokuro, his restaurant in Malate, on hip Nakpil Street. Rokuro is the Japanese word for pottery wheel. Even then, the allure of what had been a craft learned in high school was undeniable. As a teenager, Pablo lived in Japan. And it was there where he learned the basics of stoneware, of expressing
himself through his creations in clay.
In 2003, Pablo moved to Batangas, to his family’s farm, and committed himself to pottery full time. Seven years later, as we come to view Element, his first solo exhibit, we see the beautiful results of that fateful choice.
As art collector Rene Guatlo explains in his notes for this show, anagama is an ancient process that uses wood to fire pottery. Pablo built his own wood-fired kiln by drawing on his experiences in Japan, and using books as references. Getting the desired finish and texture for the surfaces of his stone pieces requires patience and multiple attempts of trial and error.
In the last few years before this show, Pablo kept his work to traditional vessels— vases, jars, tea services, utilitarian pieces that we normally associate with pottery. For this show, he wanted to translate pottery into his own language, explore its infinite possibilities through sculptural forms. As the photos attest, he has wonderfully carried a revered tradition into the realm of contemporary art.
Element runs until 28 August 2010 at Art Informal, 277 Connecticut St., Greenhills East, Mandaluyong. Phone (632) 725-8518 or visit http://www.artinformal.com
For more information on Pablo Capati III and the anagama process see http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/artsandbooks/artsandbooks/view/20100802-284396/Art-of-anagama-pottery