João Vasco Paiva

Benches, Stairs, Ramps, Ledges, Ground
May 6, 2016June 18, 2016

Jacob Lewis Gallery is pleased to present Benches, Stairs, Ramps, Ledges, Ground, an exhibition of new works by João Vasco Paiva. The exhibition will be on view May 6–June 4, 2016 (extended through June 18, 2016), with an opening reception May 5, 6-8pm.

Benches, Stairs, Ramps, Ground serves as a meditation on the object as landscape through a modernist lens. Developed during a two-month residency in New York, Paiva’s new body of sculptural work dwells in the idea of the playground. Made of industrial materials, the work draws on the formal qualities of urban furniture such as park benches, hand rails and staircases. Skateboarding is used as a tool to draw, mold and destroy the pictorial. Paiva simulates degradation on the sculptures by applying satellite images of the earth as texture, and then allowing skaters to act upon the materials as they might in a city park. The abstracted landscape gets obscured and reshaped by the action.

The misuse of the urban terrain and its furniture leads to the fabrication of skate parks with similar features. The skate park is the planned antidote for a practice in which the main goal was to discover performative qualities in the geography of the city. The unknown and unpredictable behavior is confined to a controlled environment. A fabricated objectified landscape that is perceived through movement rather than contemplation.

The artist draws inspiration from the writings of Michel de Certeau and Iain Border, questioning how one usurps his or her quotidian surroundings for alternative means.

João Vasco Paiva was born in 1979 in Coimbra, Portugal. He received a BFA from the Porto Arts Institute in 2004 and an MFA in Creative Media from The City University of Hong Kong in 2008. At the core of Paiva’s practice is an interest in deconstructing complex urban environments to create a set of identifiable codes: a universal urban alphabet. Paiva was recently selected for the Encounters section of Art Basel Hong Kong 2015 by Alexie Glass-Kantor and completed a residency at Lichtenberg Studios, Berlin. He has been exhibited internationally including exhibitions at the Witte de With, Rotterdam; Artsonje, Seoul; OCT Contemporary Art Terminal, Shanghai; MAAP, Brisbane; Garage Centre for Contemporary Art in Moscow; and Counter Space, Zurich. He is the recipient of the Hong Kong Emerging Artist Grant and the International Artist Support Grant. Paiva lives and works in Hong Kong.

Visitor Information