‘the gardener’ - looping animation

Ricepaper Magazine // 2017

Looping animation created to accompany the poem “the gardener,” written by Lisa Zhang.

Imagery inspired by the line “I want to love you in a tangle of vines.”

— Published in Ricepaper Magazine, Jan. 2017.

“Ricepaper Magazine is a Vancouver-based Canadian magazine which has showcased Asian Canadian literature, culture, and the arts since 1994.”

Scroll to read the poem “the gardener,” and see more work by Lisa Zhang at .


“the gardener” by Lisa Zhang

— as seen at

i want to love you in a tangle of vines –
i’ll peer through the mess of green
and there you’ll be, okay with me as I am –
as I cry inside a fleece like a child
or cut down enemies with my mother’s tongue.

let us tend to our garden each day.
each night,
there’s the routine:
the light of a litle lamp for us to share.
we sleep in a small jungle
until i am in dreamland –
you are senseless till morning.

i heard from my mother that
i must be a complete person
before i can love.
well, i have been an architect.
i have poured concrete for years,
and i have a brutal building
that looks built to last.

that’s a mistake –
to try to outlast life.
i will never be whole.

for all my learning,
i know less than socrates
but I do know this:
you deserve something that grows –
let us be gardeners.