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
HOSHINOYA Kyoto
星のや 京都
Jidai Matsuri
時代祭
Modern jikatabi
モダン地下足袋
Gyudon(beef-on-rice bowl)
牛丼
Idol
アイドル
Karaoke
カラオケ
Public bathhouse
銭湯
Monja
もんじゃ
Gohtoku-ji
豪徳寺
Tokyo Tower
東京タワー
Novels of Haruki Murakami
村上春樹の小説
Mangroves
マングローブ
Resort beaches
リゾートビーチ
Sanshin
三線
Village of Long Life
長寿の里
Japan
Hakuohki
Japan
Lupin III
Russia
Magic Knight Rayearth
Japan
ANA
Outdoor girl finds kawaii in a sleeping bag.
“Twintail” — simple dream-come-true magic for change.
Toybox kawaii shop shows people power.
I want to become Hello Kitty, the icon of Japan.
AKIRA BIKE
enthusiasts create a dream machine from the world of Otomo’s AKIRA
TOTTORI YOKAI ROAD
where yokais and humans live together
GAME BAR
a gathering spot for grownups where old games are available
VACUUM TUBE HEADPHONES
a key item to bridge dreams and reality
Daruma
達磨
Picks
楊枝
ANREALAGE
アンリアレイジ
Tenugui (Japanese towels)
手拭
ODEN
おでん
WHISKY
ウイスキー
SOBA
蕎麦
RICE CAKES
Nerhol
HISASHI TENMYOUYA
TABAIMO
MANABU IKEDA
AWA ODORI
NACHI-NO-OGI MATSURI
NEBUTA MATSURI
MENBURYU
KARATEDO
空手
KYUDO
弓道
NOH
SHODO
書道