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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Yokai Costume Parade
百鬼夜行
Zazen
坐禅
Fushimi Inari Taisha
伏見稲荷大社
Artisans’ Row
あじき路地
Massage chair
マッサージチェア
Paper fortune
おみくじ
Jinrikisha(Rickshaw)
人力車
Sake(Japanese rice wine)
日本酒
Roppongi Hills
六本木ヒルズ
Meiji Shrine
明治神宮
Ramen Museum
ラーメン博物館
Gundam 1/1
ガンダム1/1
Utaki
御嶽
International Avenue
国際通り
Mangroves
マングローブ
Shiisaa
シーサー
Japan
Inu x Boku SS
Japan
VOCALOID
Japan
Kiki's Delivery Service
Mexico
Street Fighter 4
Outdoor girl finds kawaii in a sleeping bag.
Cute community character promotes local charms.
Toybox kawaii shop shows people power.
The color wizard behind 80s kawaii revival.
SPACE BROTHERS
super-popular manga depicts the dreams of youths dedicated to space
OTAKU CAMERA
the app that makes anyone a manga character
TOTTORI YOKAI ROAD
where yokais and humans live together
ANIME PILGRIMAGE
a quest to visit locations relating to stories and characters
Daruma
達磨
Nambu ironware
南部鉄器
Candycrafts
あめ細工
Department store basement
デパ地下
WASABI
山葵
SUKIYAKI
すき焼き
RICE CAKES
RAMEN
ラーメン
HISASHI TENMYOUYA
YAYOI KUSAMA
KOHEI NAWA
TAKU OBATA
NIIHAMA TAIKO MATSURI
NEBUTA MATSURI
NACHI-NO-OGI MATSURI
AWA ODORI
NIHONBUYO
日本舞踊
IAI
居合
SHODO
書道
SADO
茶道
KATANA-KAJI
刀鍛冶
SENSHOKU-KA
染織家
SAMURAI AVATAR
侍アバター
SUMI-SHOKUNIN
墨職人
GAME CENTER
GAME CENTER
FAMILY COMPUTER / NES
Family Computer / NES
e-Sports
e-Sports
SHOGI
SHOGI