Message from the Art Director:


First and foremost, our hearts go out to all those affected by COVID-19 across the globe. Ever since the first cases were reported in Asia it has been a major challenge for all of us. Our top priorities are to ensure the safety of all fans, supporters and staff of this exhibit, and to act accordingly. We do not claim to foresee the future. We do, however, want our valued fans to know what we are doing to address this pandemic and what they can expect of us in the foreseeable future.


We will be doing everything we can to the best of our ability. Namely, we will continue to help connect people far and wide and the finest artworks by "the gifted" artists with disabilities.


This website highlights some of the collection featured in The Gifted, which will evolve to better present the art over the course of this online exhibit. By doing so we believe that we can cater to our fans' growing needs for digital art platforms. Please come "visit" the VR gallery and immerse yourself in this unique experience that The Gifted has to offer.

About "The Gifted: an Encounter with Diversity":


What are disabilities? Aren't they something that prevents an individual from engaging with society? What is diversity then? Isn’t that soil that embraces and lets us exist? We entitled this exhibit “The Gifted.” A gift is something given by someone – then who receives? The artists? Or those inspired by the art? I would be deeply pleased if this exhibit sheds light and helps to realize who gives what to whom, opening the door to a new found sense of value.

-- Naomi Wakao, Art Director of “The Gifted” and Phoenixi Cohort 2 Fellow

This exhibit aims to help talented artists with disabilities gain respect that they deserve through their artworks.

About "toberu"

Toberu is a Kyoto-based residential incubator for social entrepreneurs established in June 2019 and run by Phoenixi Co Ltd. This establishment is an integral part of the Phoenixi Incubation Program, which helps the social minded residents hone their own business plans to make the world a better place.

Location: 23 Yoshida Tachibana-cho, Sakyo, Kyoto 606-8303, Japan ▶MAP


Sachiko Kuno

Co-Founder & Managing Member, S&R Technology Holdings, LLC, Bethesda, Maryland

  • Co-Founder & Board of Directors, RUSK Intellectual Reserve AG, Zug, Switzerland

  • Co-Founder, President & CEO, S&R Foundation, Washington, D.C.

  • Founder and Chair, Halcyon Incubator, Washington D.C.

  • Board of Trustees, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland

  • Board of Directors, The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation, Washington, D.C.

  • Co-Founder, VLP Therapeutics, Gaithersburg, Maryland

  • Co-Founder & Director, Phoenixi Co., Ltd., Kyoto, Japan

  • Advisor, Council for Science, Technology and Innovation, Cabinet Office, Government of Japan

  • Visiting Professor, Kyoto City University of Arts

  • Councilor, Okinawa Institute of Science & Technology Graduate University

  • Executive Vice-President for International Liaison and Funding, Specially Appointed Professor, Graduate School of Advanced Integrated Studies in Human Survivability and Adjunct Professor, Graduate School of Management, Kyoto University

I have always been inspired by something beautiful or someone/something that intrigues me. When facing art, I get overjoyed while also deliberating on my instinct and imagination beyond logic and knowledge. Encounters with such diverse thoughts and ideas served as my springboard for business and innovation, and made me what I am today -- a scientist-turned-entrepreneur.


Art and design thinking are regarded as increasingly important to business. I have founded an institution where art meets social impact in Washington, DC, which runs a program supporting artists. Also here at toberu, I am happy to support those aspiring to be social entrepreneurs and early-stage artists, in turn creating new social impact and innovation out of such cross-border interactions.


-- Sachiko Kuno, Sponsor and social entrepreneur 

© 2020 by phoenixi