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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Suguki pickles
すぐき漬け
Small Torii
小さな鳥居
Moon watching
観月の夕べ
Kyoto Proverbs
Electrical goods store
家電量販店
Shrine visit
参拝
Iced coffee
アイス珈琲
Ramen (Japanese soup noodles)
ラーメン
Gundam 1/1
ガンダム1/1
Gohtoku-ji
豪徳寺
Ooedo Onsen Monogatari
大江戸温泉物語
Harajuku girl
原宿ガール
Utaki
御嶽
Shuri Castle
首里城
Kachaashii
カチャーシー
Taketomi Island
竹富島
Mexico
Doraemon
Indonesia
Kamen Rider The Next
Russia
Magic Knight Rayearth
Spain
Negima! Magester Negi Magi
The color wizard behind 80s kawaii revival.
Natural kawaii with new balance for future fashion.
Introducing Japan’s latest arts to the world.
I want to become Hello Kitty, the icon of Japan.
GAME BAR
a gathering spot for grownups where old games are available
OSAMU TEZUKA
creator of Japan’s manga and anime cultures
AKIRA BIKE
enthusiasts create a dream machine from the world of Otomo’s AKIRA
VACUUM TUBE HEADPHONES
a key item to bridge dreams and reality
Wrapping
ラッピング
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化粧品
Nambu ironware
南部鉄器
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日本酒
KATSUOBUSHI
鰹節
ODEN
おでん
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蕎麦
URUSHI
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HISASHI TENMYOUYA
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NACHI-NO-OGI MATSURI
SADO
茶道
NIHONBUYO
日本舞踊
SHODO
書道
NOH
SUKIYA-DAIKU
数寄屋大工
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墨職人
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GAME CENTER
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