Work / Illustration

Taizo Yamamoto

For a subject that immediately conjures up images of dirty, smelly shopping carts the drawings are anything but, these are beautiful, articulate drawings built up over the period of five years.

We caught up with the hugely talented illustrator, Taizo Yamamoto to find out more about the series and some surprising comparisons between them and his work as an architect.

Firstly can you tell us a little more about yourself and your background.

I grew up in Vancouver, studied Architecture at McGill University in Montreal, and then worked in NY at Schwartz Architects for 4 years from 1999 to 2003. At Schwartz Architects I worked on the NY Times Magazine study for the West Side Highway and Ground Zero as part of the THINK team (finalist to Libeskind’s winning plan). In 2003 I returned to Vancouver to take over my father’s architectural firm and have been here since.

Why shopping carts?

The shopping carts first struck me by their sculptural variation, they’re perpetual works in progress, and the drawings are meant to freeze them as “still lifes”. You begin to see glimpses of how their owner’s live; elements of weather protection (tarps, umbrellas, bubble wrap, sleeping bags), bottle/can currency, and even personalized objects like stuffed animals. As an architect, it is fascinating to see how these carts are truly “designed” in terms of immediacy and necessity.

What’s next? What are you working on at the moment?

Right now I’m working on a series of portraits of sleeping commuters, and of people lining up at the Moma.