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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Mizuura Mikuji
水占みくじ
Aburi-mochi
あぶり餅
Art of brush and ink
書道家
Shohekiga
障壁画
Shrine visit
参拝
Jinrikisha(Rickshaw)
人力車
Maid cafe
メイド喫茶
Chopsticks
Scramble crossing
スクランブル交差点
Tokyo Tower
東京タワー
Ramen Museum
ラーメン博物館
Edomae Zushi
江戸前寿司
Okinawa soba
沖縄そば
Shuri Castle
首里城
Umi-budoh
海ぶどう
Kachaashii
カチャーシー
Japan
VOCALOID
France
The Royal Doll Orchestra
Indonesia
Kamen Rider The Next
Mexico
Street Fighter 4
Natural kawaii with new balance for future fashion.
How global fans see Japan: kawaii heaven.
Harajuku fashion is a way to express myself.
Toybox kawaii shop shows people power.
OTAKU CAMERA
the app that makes anyone a manga character
TOTTORI YOKAI ROAD
where yokais and humans live together
FUJIKO F. FUJIO MUSEUM
manga master who “visualized” children’s dreams
GAME BAR
a gathering spot for grownups where old games are available
SIRI SIRI
SIRISIRI
ANREALAGE
アンリアレイジ
Tenugui (Japanese towels)
手拭
Wrapping
ラッピング
SUKIYAKI
すき焼き
RICE CAKES
KATSUOBUSHI
鰹節
SOBA
蕎麦
Nerhol
YAYOI KUSAMA
MANABU IKEDA
TAKU OBATA
SANJA MATSURI
NEBUTA MATSURI
NACHI-NO-OGI MATSURI
NIIHAMA TAIKO MATSURI
SADO
茶道
SHODO
書道
KYUDO
弓道
KARATEDO
空手
FOOD MODEL CRAFTSMAN
食品サンプル職人
SUKIYA-DAIKU
数寄屋大工
SAMURAI AVATAR
侍アバター
SENSHOKU-KA
染織家