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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Uchimizu
打ち水
Stay at a Buddhist temple
宿坊
Café from another world
純喫茶
Shohekiga
障壁画
Iced coffee
アイス珈琲
Chopsticks
Food model
食品模型
Sake(Japanese rice wine)
日本酒
Scramble crossing
スクランブル交差点
Gundam 1/1
ガンダム1/1
Shinjuku
新宿
Edomae Zushi
江戸前寿司
Shiisaa
シーサー
Village of Long Life
長寿の里
Utaki
御嶽
Sanshin
三線
Japan
Final Fantasy VI
Japan
Inu x Boku SS
Taiwan
Mobile Suit Gundam
Netherland
Odin Sphere
Harajuku girl leads next-generation kawaii.
Natural kawaii with new balance for future fashion.
Toybox kawaii shop shows people power.
The color wizard behind 80s kawaii revival.
OSAMU TEZUKA
creator of Japan’s manga and anime cultures
KOBE TETSUJIN 28-GO
mega-size robot who saves the peace in Kobe city
AKIRA BIKE
enthusiasts create a dream machine from the world of Otomo’s AKIRA
OTAKU CAMERA
the app that makes anyone a manga character
Tenugui (Japanese towels)
手拭
Elevator attendants
エレベーターアテンダント
Japanese knives
包丁
Hasamiyaki ceramics
波佐見焼
RICE CAKES
KAISEKI
懐石
WHISKY
ウイスキー
RAMEN
ラーメン
KOHEI NAWA
YAYOI KUSAMA
HISASHI TENMYOUYA
MANABU IKEDA
SANJA MATSURI
AWA ODORI
MENBURYU
NACHI-NO-OGI MATSURI
SHODO
書道
JUDO
柔道
KARATEDO
空手
SADO
茶道
EDOKIRIKO
江戸切子職人
SUKIYA-DAIKU
数寄屋大工
SENSHOKU-KA
染織家
SAMURAI AVATAR
侍アバター
SPACE INVADERS
SPACE INVADERS
GAME CENTER
GAME CENTER
GAME CREATOR
GAME CREATOR
FAMILY COMPUTER / NES
Family Computer / NES