Wall of Nature

The exact number of plants living on the outside of Madrid’s Caixa Forum Museum is unknown. Estimates range from 15,000-17,000, but it depends on the season. Under normal circumstances, its vertical garden – botanist Patrick LeBlanc’s Le Mur Végétal – is a verdant green. Yet, under Vietnamese photographer Viet Ha Tran’s (b. 1981) lens, it becomes something else entirely – like stepping into a hallucination.

In the Wall of Nature series, contrasting colours meld into one another, weaving and swirling from the top to the bottom of each frame. Blue blends into orange, which, in turn, transforms into red, then yellow, pink and purple. Here, the artist takes cues from impressionism and abstraction, applying them – with a touch of psychedelia – to one of the world’s most lush human made walls. The result is truly hypnotising.

In Madrid, members of the public can walk up to, touch and explore more than 300 species that call the wall home. “The vertical garden is as much a piece of environmental graffiti as much as it is botanical,” Viet Ha says. “It’s a fascinating combination of art, architecture and botany. I aim to paint an impressionistic image, but also to increase public awareness of protecting the environment and green living spaces.”

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All images courtesy Viet Ha Tran, from the Wall of Nature series.