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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Kyoto Streetcar
嵐電
Tea master
茶道家
I am your Yuzen
友禅の色
Suguki pickles
すぐき漬け
High-tech toilet
ハイテクトイレ
Sake(Japanese rice wine)
日本酒
Karaoke
カラオケ
Paper fortune
おみくじ
Roppongi Hills
六本木ヒルズ
Tokyo Station
東京駅
Harajuku girl
原宿ガール
Edo kiriko
江戸切子
International Avenue
国際通り
Mango
マンゴー
Taketomi Island
竹富島
Okinawa soba
沖縄そば
Taiwan
Mobile Suit Gundam
USA
Gunbuster
Mexico
Doraemon
United Kingdom
Sailor Moon
“Twintail” — simple dream-come-true magic for change.
The color wizard behind 80s kawaii revival.
Harajuku fashion is a way to express myself.
Outdoor girl finds kawaii in a sleeping bag.
GAME BAR
a gathering spot for grownups where old games are available
3D LATTE ART
the ultimate shape of art to come — too cute to drink?
AKIRA BIKE
enthusiasts create a dream machine from the world of Otomo’s AKIRA
BRAIN WAVE CAT EARS
cutting-edge tech joins Japan’s “fetish” (moe) culture
Japanese knives
包丁
Hasamiyaki ceramics
波佐見焼
Japanese sake
日本酒
Daruma
達磨
SUKIYAKI
すき焼き
KATSUOBUSHI
鰹節
WASABI
山葵
RAMEN
ラーメン
MANABU IKEDA
Nerhol
HISASHI TENMYOUYA
YAYOI KUSAMA
NEBUTA MATSURI
SANJA MATSURI
MENBURYU
NIIHAMA TAIKO MATSURI
SHODO
書道
NOH
SADO
茶道
KARATEDO
空手
KATANA-KAJI
刀鍛冶
EDOKIRIKO
江戸切子職人
SAMURAI AVATAR
侍アバター
SUKIYA-DAIKU
数寄屋大工
e-Sports
e-Sports
GAME CREATOR
GAME CREATOR
SHOGI
SHOGI
PLAY STATION
PlayStation