Büyüktaşçıyan’s installation, Reveries of an Underground Forest, consists of carpets rolled to resemble the stumps of trees, inspired by the forests that once flourished in the Toronto region and are now buried under the foundations of our modern city. The carpets are embellished with linear burn patterns that are reminiscent of ethnic motifs, aerial maps of suburban neighbourhoods, and the abstracted movements of people who have migrated to new lands and inscribed their own histories.

Commissioned by the Toronto Biennial of Art. 

Hera Büyüktaşçıyan is the recipient of the Toronto Biennial of Art’s first Emerging Artist Prize, awarded to acknowledge a promising, early-career Biennial artist.


Hera Büyüktaşçıyan (born and lives in Istanbul, Turkey) graduated from the Fine Arts Institute at Marmara University, Istanbul in 2006. The artist locates the figure of “the other” between the twinned spectres of absence and invisibility in order to weave connections between identity, memory, space, and time. Exhibitions include: GIGANTISME—ART & INDUSTRIE, Dunkirk, 2019; Neither on the Ground, nor in the Sky, ifa Galerie Berlin, 2019; Underneath the Arches, Naples, 2018; Dhaka Art Summit,Bangladesh, 2018; Armenian Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale, 2015; 14th Istanbul Biennial, 2015; and Jerusalem Show VII, 2014.

Exhibition Site

259 Lake Shore Blvd East

The life of this nondescript building reveals the area’s economic history. Its first tenant in 1945, the Standard Chemical Company, produced methanol, formaldehyde, and charcoal. A railway line to the south tethered the site to the movement of goods. By 1954, the building was divided into a warehouse and a showroom, a configuration that remained intact over the course of various leaseholders, including oil and electrical supply companies and a series of car dealerships. (The advertising of its most recent tenant, Volvo, is still visible on the façade.) This building’s fate is indeterminate, as real estate development is increasingly filling the voids left by industrial decline.

259 Lake Shore Blvd East
Toronto ON
M5A 3T7