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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Small Torii
小さな鳥居
Jidai Matsuri
時代祭
Ikkyu-ji Natto
一休寺納豆
Machiya bars
京町家の夜
Shrine visit
参拝
High-tech toilet
ハイテクトイレ
Kaminari-mon
雷門
Sumo wrestler
大相撲力士
Roppongi Hills
六本木ヒルズ
Harajuku girl
原宿ガール
Gohtoku-ji
豪徳寺
Yakatabune
屋形船
Public market
公設市場
Sanshin
三線
Haarii
ハーリー
Ryukyu Karate
琉球空手
China
Kuroko's Basketball/ Magi
Italy
Sengoku Muso
Brazil
Final Fantasy VI
Japan
Neon Genesis EVANGELION
Harajuku fashion is a way to express myself.
The color wizard behind 80s kawaii revival.
“Twintail” — simple dream-come-true magic for change.
Outdoor girl finds kawaii in a sleeping bag.
KOBE TETSUJIN 28-GO
mega-size robot who saves the peace in Kobe city
OSAMU TEZUKA
creator of Japan’s manga and anime cultures
GAME BAR
a gathering spot for grownups where old games are available
TOTTORI YOKAI ROAD
where yokais and humans live together
Wrapping
ラッピング
Nambu ironware
南部鉄器
Tenugui (Japanese towels)
手拭
Hasamiyaki ceramics
波佐見焼
WASABI
山葵
KATSUOBUSHI
鰹節
ODEN
おでん
WHISKY
ウイスキー
TAKU OBATA
TABAIMO
KOHEI NAWA
Nerhol
AWA ODORI
SANJA MATSURI
NACHI-NO-OGI MATSURI
NEBUTA MATSURI
NOH
NIHONBUYO
日本舞踊
KENDO
剣道
IAI
居合
SUMI-SHOKUNIN
墨職人
KACCHU-SHI
甲冑師
EDOKIRIKO
江戸切子職人
KATANA-KAJI
刀鍛冶