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Garden Room

By Kristina Ljubanovic

Photo by Rebecca Tisdelle-Macias

Garden Room - feature-1

STEPPING into the lobby of Allied’s 60 Adelaide East—on an especially blustery Toronto morning—one is struck by an unexpected sight: a moss wall, just beyond the elevator bank, with improbable tufts of emerald and chartreuse green so vibrant you must touch to believe. (I did, and it’s real.)

Adjacent to the moss display—perhaps in conversation with it—hangs Montréal-based photographer Lisa Yang’s tripartite photographic series Rose, Ribbon, Glass, curated and installed by a team at MASSIVart. In each of the images, a single rose is manipulated, enrobed in ribbon and pressed between glass and diffuser film, rendering it ghostly, X-ray-like and strangely romantic.

Moss and roses? Is this a commercial building lobby or the set of a Charlotte Brontë novel?

“It’s like having a little garden in the building,” says Yang, who often uses natural materials in her personal and commercial work. (The largely self-taught artist doubles as a set designer and prop stylist. In fact, Rose, Ribbon, Glass was created while she was shooting a commercial project.)

“When I first started, I focused on fruits and then naturally progressed to florals,” she says. Indeed, Yang’s online portfolio reveals a profusion of nature-infused images: beauty-product packaging set on dried grass or perched between tree limbs and eyewear hanging from budding branches or propped on a pile of artichoke, beet and rutabaga.

“I like working with objects,” says Yang, “especially when they’re not man-made. It’s up to you to create something new out of them.” When she was first starting out, the decision to use fruits and flowers was a simple matter of accessibility; they were items she had in her house already.

While Yang finds aesthetic inspiration on Instagram and, these days, is even dabbling in AI-generated art, ultimately, you can’t beat Mother Nature as a muse. “When there’s good sunlight, I’m inspired.”

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