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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Inspiration of Buddha Statues
仏像
New Kyoto-style umbrellas
新しい京和傘
Cool terrace in Kyoto summer
納涼床
Tea master
茶道家
Japanese pub
居酒屋
Maid cafe
メイド喫茶
Sushi-go-round
回転寿司
Character bento
キャラ弁
Gohtoku-ji
豪徳寺
Roppongi Hills
六本木ヒルズ
Meiji Shrine
明治神宮
Edomae Zushi
江戸前寿司
Ryukyu Karate
琉球空手
Village of Long Life
長寿の里
Kachaashii
カチャーシー
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
美ら海水族館
Korea
Hakuohki / Adekan
Japan
VOCALOID
Netherland
Odin Sphere
Japan
Kinnikuman
“Twintail” — simple dream-come-true magic for change.
Harajuku fashion is a way to express myself.
The color wizard behind 80s kawaii revival.
How global fans see Japan: kawaii heaven.
VACUUM TUBE HEADPHONES
a key item to bridge dreams and reality
AKIRA BIKE
enthusiasts create a dream machine from the world of Otomo’s AKIRA
SPACE BROTHERS
super-popular manga depicts the dreams of youths dedicated to space
OSAMU TEZUKA
creator of Japan’s manga and anime cultures
Japanese knives
包丁
Cosmetics
化粧品
Hasamiyaki ceramics
波佐見焼
Nishikigoi
錦鯉
URUSHI
漆芸
SOBA
蕎麦
KAISEKI
懐石
WHISKY
ウイスキー
TABAIMO
Nerhol
MANABU IKEDA
HISASHI TENMYOUYA
NEBUTA MATSURI
AWA ODORI
SANJA MATSURI
MENBURYU