Five by Eight is an exhibition of 40 works by eight contemporary potters from Japan, coordinated by Makiko Maki, a Curator and Gallery Owner from Tokyo, Japan. The artists included in this exhibition represent an overview of the contemporary art world in Japan, with some of the makers working within the confines of tradition, while others are pushing those boundaries, with the remaining artists in the group abandoning it all together. The trend within the Contemporary Japanese ceramic scene has been on sculptural works, making the choice to focus on the vessel one born out of a commitment to the importance of handmade wares in daily life.
The eight potters represented are a co-op of sorts, a group of like-minded individuals, each in pursuit of their own vision, while carrying forth a common goal, preserving the tradition of the handmade. As the use of manufactured tableware becomes more commonplace within Japanese households, this shared goal has become ever more important. The participants are all mid-career artists, having been focused on the development of their aesthetic and methods of making for between 10 to 15 years. Each has earned their Masters of Fine Arts from Tokyo University of Fine Arts, Tokyo, Japan or the Aichi University of Fine Arts, Aichi, Japan. Three of the artists have works within the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (as denoted by * in the participants list).
The participating artists are Mari Iwabuchi, Makoto Saeda, Isamu Shiina, Yuko Shinosuka, Takeshi Tanaka, Yuichi Chiba, Seigou Maeda, and Kunio Watanabe.