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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Ikkyu-ji Natto
一休寺納豆
Small Torii
小さな鳥居
Stay at Machiya
京町家ステイ
Fushimi Inari Taisha
伏見稲荷大社
Sake(Japanese rice wine)
日本酒
Electrical goods store
家電量販店
Hot spring spa
温泉
High-tech toilet
ハイテクトイレ
Tokyo Tower
東京タワー
Yakatabune
屋形船
Gundam 1/1
ガンダム1/1
Ooedo Onsen Monogatari
大江戸温泉物語
Shiisaa
シーサー
Taketomi Island
竹富島
Public market
公設市場
Lunch “A”
Aランチ
Japan
Kiki's Delivery Service
Japan
ANA
Japan
(Original)
Austraria
Final Fantasy X
Outdoor girl finds kawaii in a sleeping bag.
“Twintail” — simple dream-come-true magic for change.
Cute community character promotes local charms.
Natural kawaii with new balance for future fashion.
KOBE TETSUJIN 28-GO
mega-size robot who saves the peace in Kobe city
OSAMU TEZUKA
creator of Japan’s manga and anime cultures
TOTTORI YOKAI ROAD
where yokais and humans live together
SPACE BROTHERS
super-popular manga depicts the dreams of youths dedicated to space
Cosmetics
化粧品
Metal tableware
金属食器
Kimono
着物
Picks
楊枝
KATSUOBUSHI
鰹節
KAISEKI
懐石
TEMPURA
天婦羅
RICE VINEGAR
お酢
Nerhol
TAKU OBATA
HISASHI TENMYOUYA
KOHEI NAWA
AWA ODORI
NEBUTA MATSURI
NACHI-NO-OGI MATSURI
MENBURYU
KARATEDO
空手
KYUDO
弓道
IAI
居合
KENDO
剣道
KATANA-KAJI
刀鍛冶
EDOKIRIKO
江戸切子職人
SUMI-SHOKUNIN
墨職人
KACCHU-SHI
甲冑師
PLAY STATION
PlayStation
GAME CENTER
GAME CENTER
FAMILY COMPUTER / NES
Family Computer / NES
SHOGI
SHOGI