Cut Down The Middle

João Vasco Paiva, Heman Chong, Ramiro Guerreiro, Ko Sin Tung, Magdalen Wong


Cut Down The Middle gathers a selection of recent works by João Vasco Paiva with pieces by Heman Chong, Ramiro Guerreiro, Ko Sin Tung and Magdalen Wong, artists with whom Paiva has exhibited, worked, shared space or been in conversation with over the past decade.

Paiva’s The Highways Department Colouring Book (2016), a collection of interventions drawn by the artist on a series of blueprints appropriated from the Hong Kong Highways Department Manual of Standard Drawings, established the initial premises for the exhibition. Although this type of manual precisely outlines the concrete infrastructure that constitutes the city, from furniture such as barriers, to the materials to be used for footways and cycleways, those experiencing the city as their lived environment are mostly unaware of the pervasiveness of these specifications
except in moments of crisis. With this context as a departure point, the exhibition gathers work by these five artists where the backdrops of the realities we inhabit, be they physical, conceptual or artificial, are highlighted, exposed or put into question.

The topographies made present through these works, as well as the passage of time within such settings, suggest the reciprocity between our perceptions and the effects that the arrangements behind such landscapes have on how we understand our surroundings.

This show is also an invitation to consider how, in the same way that rarely noticed urban elements like kerbs, bollards, or street markings, affect our routines daily, the constructions inherent to communication and information platforms have a similar impact on our ways of thinking about and
even imagining our worlds. Our experiences are continuously woven and reconfigured from a multitude of contexts that span beyond what we watch, read, see, or even exchange with others. Cut Down The Middle is anchored on relationships between the work and life of João Vasco Paiva and the works and lives of the artists Heman Chong, Ramiro Guerreiro, Ko Sin Tung and Magdalen Wong. These associations are only suggested and the connections are open to construction, appropriation
and misappropriation in exactly the same way we make inferences from the elements underpinning our lived environments.

Click here to download a free PDF of Heman Chong’s MAKE YOUR OWN PUBLIC LIBRARY! poster

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Public Programme

Topografias Alteradas
João Vasco Paiva, Ramiro Guerreiro and Magdalen Wong
Avenida da Índia Gallery


Cut Down The Middle
Dasha Birukova
A colouring book
Catarina Nascimento, Daniel Peres and Margarida Rodrigues (Galerias Municipais)


With text by
Cut Down The Middle
Claudia Pestana, João Vasco Paiva, John Batten, Magdalen Wong, Tobi Maier