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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Cool terrace in Kyoto summer
納涼床
Antique fair
東寺弘法市
Inspiration of Buddha Statues
仏像
Shohekiga
障壁画
Character bento
キャラ弁
Chopsticks
Mt. Fuji
富士山
Japanese pub
居酒屋
Edo kiriko
江戸切子
Edomae Zushi
江戸前寿司
Shinjuku
新宿
Tsukiji Market
築地市場
Okinawa soba
沖縄そば
Mango
マンゴー
Public market
公設市場
Sanshin
三線
United Kingdom
Eternal Sonata
Germany
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Singapore
Hakuohki
Mexico
Street Fighter 4
Harajuku fashion is a way to express myself.
I want to become Hello Kitty, the icon of Japan.
Harajuku girl leads next-generation kawaii.
Outdoor girl finds kawaii in a sleeping bag.
GAME BAR
a gathering spot for grownups where old games are available
KOBE TETSUJIN 28-GO
mega-size robot who saves the peace in Kobe city
BRAIN WAVE CAT EARS
cutting-edge tech joins Japan’s “fetish” (moe) culture
SPACE BROTHERS
super-popular manga depicts the dreams of youths dedicated to space
Wrapping
ラッピング
Hasamiyaki ceramics
波佐見焼
Tenugui (Japanese towels)
手拭
Candycrafts
あめ細工
RICE VINEGAR
お酢
URUSHI
漆芸
KAISEKI
懐石
KATSUOBUSHI
鰹節
TAKU OBATA
TABAIMO
KOHEI NAWA
HISASHI TENMYOUYA
NACHI-NO-OGI MATSURI
NIIHAMA TAIKO MATSURI
AWA ODORI
NEBUTA MATSURI
NOH
NIHONBUYO
日本舞踊
SHODO
書道
KARATEDO
空手