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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Suguki pickles
すぐき漬け
Kitchen of Kyoto
錦市場
Unique use of Kyoto bathhouses
銭湯表現
Café from another world
純喫茶
Food model
食品模型
Karaoke
カラオケ
Paper fortune
おみくじ
Japanese hospitality
おもてなし
Yakatabune
屋形船
Ooedo Onsen Monogatari
大江戸温泉物語
Traditional Japanese guest house
古民家ゲストハウス
Tokyo Sky Tree
東京スカイツリー
Resort beaches
リゾートビーチ
Shiisaa
シーサー
Village of Long Life
長寿の里
Awamori
泡盛
Japan
Neon Genesis EVANGELION
Netherland
Odin Sphere
USA
Gunbuster
France
The Royal Doll Orchestra
How global fans see Japan: kawaii heaven.
Introducing Japan’s latest arts to the world.
Harajuku fashion is a way to express myself.
I want to become Hello Kitty, the icon of Japan.
VACUUM TUBE HEADPHONES
a key item to bridge dreams and reality
OTAKU CAMERA
the app that makes anyone a manga character
BRAIN WAVE CAT EARS
cutting-edge tech joins Japan’s “fetish” (moe) culture
TOTTORI YOKAI ROAD
where yokais and humans live together
Metal tableware
金属食器
ANREALAGE
アンリアレイジ
Japanese knives
包丁
Cosmetics
化粧品
TEMPURA
天婦羅
WHISKY
ウイスキー
SUSHI
寿司
RAMEN
ラーメン
KOHEI NAWA
Nerhol
TAKU OBATA
TABAIMO
NEBUTA MATSURI
NACHI-NO-OGI MATSURI
AWA ODORI
NIIHAMA TAIKO MATSURI
SHODO
書道
NIHONBUYO
日本舞踊
SADO
茶道
IAI
居合