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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水占みくじ
Maiko documentary
舞妓
Suguki pickles
すぐき漬け
Shohekiga
障壁画
Manga cafe
マンガ喫茶
Massage chair
マッサージチェア
Decorate anything
デコる
Public bathhouse
銭湯
Gohtoku-ji
豪徳寺
Harajuku girl
原宿ガール
Traditional Japanese guest house
古民家ゲストハウス
Ooedo Onsen Monogatari
大江戸温泉物語
Utaki
御嶽
Okinawa soba
沖縄そば
Mango
マンゴー
Ryukyu Karate
琉球空手
Thailand
Summer Wars
France
The Royal Doll Orchestra
Denmark
Super Mario Bros.
Japan
Neon Genesis EVANGELION
I want to become Hello Kitty, the icon of Japan.
Cute community character promotes local charms.
Harajuku girl leads next-generation kawaii.
Introducing Japan’s latest arts to the world.
TOTTORI YOKAI ROAD
where yokais and humans live together
OTAKU CAMERA
the app that makes anyone a manga character
OSAMU TEZUKA
creator of Japan’s manga and anime cultures
FUJIKO F. FUJIO MUSEUM
manga master who “visualized” children’s dreams
ANREALAGE
アンリアレイジ
Cosmetics
化粧品
Wrapping
ラッピング
Nishikigoi
錦鯉
SOBA
蕎麦
SUSHI
寿司
TEMPURA
天婦羅
WHISKY
ウイスキー
HISASHI TENMYOUYA
TABAIMO
Nerhol
KOHEI NAWA
NEBUTA MATSURI
NIIHAMA TAIKO MATSURI
SANJA MATSURI
NACHI-NO-OGI MATSURI