Figure 1 Publishing

Art + Design / Forthcoming

Taizo Yamamoto

Carts, Hedges, Lions

By Taizo Yamamoto with essays by Kevin Chong, Aaron Peck and Jackie Wong

Exquisitely detailed drawings offer a “field guide” to ubiquitous but overlooked elements of Vancouver’s urban landscape.


“These works can give us pause to look at what we might turn our eyes away from in public.”


—Aaron Peck on the “Shopping Carts” series

Book Description

Three series of intricate graphite drawings depict, with arresting realism, real-world examples of assembled, grown, and built objects common to distinct milieus of Vancouver: the shopping carts piled high with belongings that clatter along sidewalks in the downtown core; the long, high hedges that insulate single-family homes from the din of arterial traffic; and the sculptural lions placed for good luck atop fenceposts in front of many homes, especially on the city’s east side.

In creating snapshots and then laborious drawings of these objects, Taizo Yamamoto, the principal of Yamamoto Architecture, was driven by a fascination with how the recurrence of these seemingly mundane objects speaks to omnipresent issues of housing unaffordability, densification, and the aspirations of diasporic communities—concerns that have an uneasy relationship to celebrated narratives of Vancouver but play a prominent role in residents’ everyday lives. To this work he brings not just sustained careful attention but an architect’s eye for details both structural and textural, resulting in immersive, richly nuanced drawings.

New essays and fiction from three authors engages the work through prose: Aaron Peck, author of Jeff Wall: North & West (2015), interprets the shopping cart drawings as an appreciation of “ephemeral architecture” and sees affinities to work by Walker Evans and Hilda and Bernd Becher; a short story by Giller Prize–nominated author Kevin Chong (The Double Life of Benson Yu, 2023) imagines the lives behind the hedges; and Jackie Wong, senior editor of The Tyee, reports on the origin, production, and symbolism of the many lions dotting the city.



  • Hardcover
  • 7 × 9 inches
  • 104 pages
  • 978-1-77327-242-9
  • $40.00 CDN / $35.00 USD
  • September 2024