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
Yokai Costume Parade
百鬼夜行
Uchimizu
打ち水
Ikkyu-ji Natto
一休寺納豆
Character bento
キャラ弁
Sumo wrestler
大相撲力士
Chopsticks
Hot spring spa
温泉
Tokyo Station
東京駅
Asakusa
浅草
Monja
もんじゃ
Tsukiji Market
築地市場
Haarii
ハーリー
Mango
マンゴー
Okinawa soba
沖縄そば
Sanshin
三線
Thailand
Summer Wars
Japan
Dekirukana
Malaysia
Final Fantasy VII Advent Children
Netherland
Odin Sphere
I want to become Hello Kitty, the icon of Japan.
How global fans see Japan: kawaii heaven.
I want to create awesome kawaii nail art.
The color wizard behind 80s kawaii revival.
OSAMU TEZUKA
creator of Japan’s manga and anime cultures
FUJIKO F. FUJIO MUSEUM
manga master who “visualized” children’s dreams
OTAKU CAMERA
the app that makes anyone a manga character
KOBE TETSUJIN 28-GO
mega-size robot who saves the peace in Kobe city
Japanese knives
包丁
SIRI SIRI
SIRISIRI
Daruma
達磨
Japanese sake
日本酒
KAISEKI
懐石
RICE CAKES
ODEN
おでん
SUKIYAKI
すき焼き
HISASHI TENMYOUYA
KOHEI NAWA
MANABU IKEDA
Nerhol
MENBURYU
NIIHAMA TAIKO MATSURI
NEBUTA MATSURI
NACHI-NO-OGI MATSURI
IAI
居合
KYUDO
弓道
KARATEDO
空手
NOH
SENSHOKU-KA
染織家
SAMURAI AVATAR
侍アバター
KATANA-KAJI
刀鍛冶
FOOD MODEL CRAFTSMAN
食品サンプル職人