Gallery in Tournus –
a stone’s throw from the abbey
Hiromi Nakaï is a Japanese painter educated at the Wackers Academy in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She has lived with her family in Saône-et-Loire, Burgundy, France since 2000. In 2016 she opened her own art gallery in the historic town of Tournus only steps away from the famed ancient Abbaye Saint Philibert, the former 9th century Benedictine abbey. The area also hosts several Michelin star hotels and restaurants and many galleries and art shops run by the artists themselves. Tournus is renowned for its beauty and old medieval village and draws many tourists each year. The River Saône runs very close to the town of 6,500 inhabitants nestled between the A6 “Route du Soleil” motorway and the Saône. It is only a short driving distance to Lyon, Dijon, Chalon-sur-Saône, and Geneva, Switzerland affording the gallery an ideal location.
The journey that brought Hiromi and her Art to Burgundy
After studying in Amsterdam under the tutelage of famous Dutch painter Sam Drukker, Hiromi and her family moved to southern Burgundy. First they lived in the countryside where she enjoyed plenty of peaceful space in which to paint. After 15 years in Bresse, she realized that you can take the girl out of the city (originally she comes from Tokyo), but you can’t take the city out of the girl. She and her husband missed the closeness of people and activity and decided to return to town. She and her Dutch husband did not choose Tokyo or Amsterdam but nearby Tournus, a very pleasant and historic old town with a favorable climate for the development of her art. They found a house right in the center with enough space for a gallery on the ground floor and a painter’s studio under the roof. The couple lives on the first floor.
The Exhibition Process and Selection
Hiromi was looking for particular styles she liked and admired. Her preference is for figurative art but not hyper realistic, and she prefers defined brush strokes in a sort of impressionistic mode. However, she is not limited by this and looks for work that speaks poetically, that has “soul,” and tells stories. In abiding by her instincts and highlighting a particular school of style, Gallery Nakaï showcases as very unique. It might not appeal to everyone, but a clear and specific focus offers a plethora of rewards to those who know what they like in this genre.
Hiromi studied and met with many artists from her days at the Wacker Academy in Amsterdam. When Gallery Nakaï opened in 2016, she contacted those she had known and had taught at that time. Some had gone on to become well known and respected around the world. Many agreed to show their work with Hiromi, and eventually she was receiving requests from others as well. At first she did not know many French artists, but in time they became drawn to the gallery and its welcoming ambiance. She also contacted many artists around Europe through social media. It was wonderful to invite them to come to the gallery to meet in person and to attend opening receptions and exhibits, affording them the opportunity to interact with customers and admirers of their work. She prizes her good relationships with other artists and highlighting their work together in a spirit of connectivity and community.
Corona changes us!
Faced with the confinements around COVID 19, we sought a new model to help our artists sell their works. This is why we have created individual ‘stores’ where each artist selected by Hiromi can present and sell their own work online. This gives them more autonomy in order to take advantage of the synergy of a common presentation in our ‘Galerie Marchande d’Art Figuratif’. In this shopping gallery you can visit the shops of individual artists and even buy works that are not present in our gallery but uploaded by the artist and available by contacting them.
Welcome to our gallery in Tournus!
If you are in Burgundy, take a little detour. Exit the motorway to enjoy Tournus, its art, its culinary discoveries, and its beautiful Saint Philibert Abbey. And visit the Nakaï Gallery, where you will be warmly welcomed among the paintings and sculptures of Hiromi and her guest artists.
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