Nurturing the arts

The FOIL gallery draws much attention in the Kyoto art scene. Its representatives are involved in gallery management and art publishing while also producing exhibitions for artists. In the following interview, FOIL’s director Mr. Takei talks about its activities:

1. Moving from Tokyo to Kyoto
Many investors in Japanese art are not from Japan. In that case, why do we have to stay in Tokyo? Kyoto has a special spirit and ambiance, with few tall buildings and a feeling of serenity. There are many galleries that make use of Kyoto machiya (townhouses), although these buildings tend to place physical limitations on exhibitions. So, I look for Kyoto venues with high ceilings that allow showings of large artworks.

2. Exhibitions in Kennin-ji (temple)
As a curator, I’ve been in charge of exhibitions at Kennin-ji for the past three or four years during Golden Week (Japan’s holiday season in early May). Thus far, I’ve produced exhibitions for Yoshitomo Nara, Rinko Kawauchi, and Syoin Kajii (whose works were just on display at the FOIL gallery during this interview). Since temple facilities must be carefully protected to avoid damage, we have to use our ingenuity when exhibiting artworks, which becomes an enjoyable challenge.

3. About Syoin Kajii
Mr. Kajii applied for the FOIL award in 2004, and I chose him. Our collaboration has continued since then. I was intrigued that he takes photos while serving in his vocation as a priest at Sado Island. Now I am his business manager, too, and have helped him publish four photography books already.

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Ikkyu-ji Natto
一休寺納豆
Maiko documentary
舞妓
Café from another world
純喫茶
Suguki pickles
すぐき漬け
Ultramodern vending machine
次世代型自販機
Iced coffee
アイス珈琲
Japanese pub
居酒屋
Sumo wrestler
大相撲力士
Shinjuku
新宿
Asakusa
浅草
Architecture Street
建築ストリート
Tokyo Station
東京駅
Awamori
泡盛
Utaki
御嶽
Haarii
ハーリー
Kachaashii
カチャーシー
France
The Royal Doll Orchestra
Japan
Suite PreCure
Japan
Hakuohki
Japan
ANA
How global fans see Japan: kawaii heaven.
Natural kawaii with new balance for future fashion.
Harajuku girl leads next-generation kawaii.
Toybox kawaii shop shows people power.
VACUUM TUBE HEADPHONES
a key item to bridge dreams and reality
OSAMU TEZUKA
creator of Japan’s manga and anime cultures
KOBE TETSUJIN 28-GO
mega-size robot who saves the peace in Kobe city
3D LATTE ART
the ultimate shape of art to come — too cute to drink?
Daruma
達磨
Department store basement
デパ地下
ANREALAGE
アンリアレイジ
Cosmetics
化粧品
RICE VINEGAR
お酢
RAMEN
ラーメン
TEMPURA
天婦羅
KAISEKI
懐石
YAYOI KUSAMA
TABAIMO
MANABU IKEDA
Nerhol
NIIHAMA TAIKO MATSURI
NEBUTA MATSURI
MENBURYU
NACHI-NO-OGI MATSURI
KENDO
剣道
JUDO
柔道
IAI
居合
KARATEDO
空手
SUKIYA-DAIKU
数寄屋大工
KACCHU-SHI
甲冑師
EDOKIRIKO
江戸切子職人
SUMI-SHOKUNIN
墨職人