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Our Mission

Ezen Foundation aims to deepen and share the culture and history of Japan, creating an accessible space for learning and for inspiration, facilitating opportunities that open the pathway for those who wish to deepen their love and understanding of Japanese art through the provision of a forum and a community to nurture a progressive platform.

The Ezen Foundation in particular aims to facilitate cross-cultural exchange and education between Japan and the UK. Based in the picturesque passage of Islington, London, traditional Japanese art and practice is brought to the capital with accessibility and engagement in mind.


  “We strive to avoid elitism when it comes to art, breaking down boundaries and bringing the traditional grassroots accessibility of Japanese woodblock prints back to our modern world.”

David Wertheim
Founder of Ezen Foundation, Director of Japanese Gallery Angel


Ezen Explained

The name of our organisation was created with dualities and diversity in mind.

It represents the diversity of cultures, fusing Europe, and the Japanese idea of zen reflecting the founder’s upbringing as half-Japanese, half-British. The ethos is to embrace, respect and appreciate all cultures and to celebrate harmonious integration.

It also encompasses the joining of the digital world of technology (E-zen) and an appreciation of nature, the analogue, mindfulness and consciousness (Ezen). This melding of ideas represents the heart of the Ezen ideology: encouraging innovation while embracing tradition.

The Pillars of the Ezen Ethos


Japanese woodblock prints were traditionally the art of the masses, a cheaper alternative to brush-painted art that allowed the everyday Japanese person to integrate art into their life. At Ezen, we aim to bring this ethos back to the modern day. We strive to host engaging and interactive free exhibitions that push back against boundaries that have made art largely inaccessible to the public.

Interactivity in education is at the heart of what we do. As such, wo host cultural events, demonstrations, and talks to encourage a deeper understanding of traditional Japanese culture.

Tradition Meets Innovation

Tradition plays a key role in our exhibitions at Ezen. In a world that is rapidly digitising, we believe it is vital work to keep traditional skills and practices alive and well. Part of this process is through education and exposure to communicate the ongoing value these practices have.

Equally we aim to embrace innovation as a tool to bring tradition into the modern world. Whether it be online talks or digital rendering of classic prints, technology renders art accessible to a wide range of people across the globe. Our adoption of QR codes in our exhibitions not only has cut down on paper wastage but brings interactivity into the learning process.


The Japanese meditative notion of ‘zen’ underpins operations at Ezen. Zen encourages reflection to deepen understanding and find peace. We believe that this reflection imbues our work with concsiousness.

We are conscious of the barriers to accessing art that prevent them from feeling they can integrate it into their everyday lives. At Ezen we aim to cultivate environments where the public can feel at connect and integrate art into their daily lives.

Organisations and businesses today must install a consciousness towards the environment. As such we strive to only use local resources, use compostable and recyclable materials where possible, and minimise on paper wastage through our QR codes.