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Billboards

Starting in 2005, Vhils began working with accumulated layers of advertising posters he found on the streets. This was the first medium he used to explore a carving technique and led to the conceptual approach of dissecting and decomposing objects and surfaces to reveal the formative layers that describe the intimate relationship between the city and its inhabitants.


Created by layering these posters on top of one another, obliterating the top layer with white paint, and lastly extracting an image by carving into the pile, his billboard artworks bring an assortment of random elements to the surface creating a physical manifestation of the constantly evolving visual identity of urban life.


The body of work based on layered advertising posters removed from the streets explores one of the most important concepts inherent to Vhils’ art: how these randomly created layers reflect not only the speed at which contemporary life is evolving, but also how the city and its inhabitants are locked in an endless cycle of reciprocal shaping. Vhils views them as having a fossil-like quality which can be symbolically dissected and analysed. While expressing the visual and architectural chaos of the urban landscape, these accumulated layers can also be seen as the epitome of the present-day consumer culture of imposition, obsolescence, and waste.

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Scrape Series #05 / 186 x 120 cm
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Scape Series #01 - Seville / 180 x 362 cm
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Scape Series #01 - Seville / 80 x 362 cm
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CHAOS, 2015 / 42 x 123 x 27 cmHand-cut advertising postersphoto by Alexander Silva
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Frayed Series #01 / 160 x 125 cm
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Frayed Series #01 / 160 x 125 cm
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Matter Series #02 & #04, 2016 / 185 × 150 cm & 192 × 140 cmHand-carved advertising postersphoto by Bruno Lopes
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Untitled, 2016Billboard intervention on Hong Kong tramphoto by Viktor
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Unearth Series #16 / 183 x 122 cm
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Unearth Series #16 / 183 x 122 cm
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Camada Series, 2018Installation with stand up billboard piecesphoto by José Pando Lucas
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Camada Series #14, 2018 / 185 × 125 × 30 cmHand-carved advertising posters collected from the streetphoto by José Pando Lucas
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 / 130 x 185 cmHand-carved and laser-cut advertising postersphoto by João Mau
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Tear Series #13, 2022 / 57 × 86 cmHand-carved and laser-cut advertising postersphoto by Alexander Silva
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Pictorial Series #09, 2021 / 177 × 122 cmHand-carved and laser-cut advertising postersphoto by Alexander Silva
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Untitled, 2016 | Sands Street, Hong KongSite-specific billboard piecephoto by José Pando Lucas
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Panorama, 2014Site-specific billboard installationphoto by Sílvia Lopes
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Untitled, 2016 | Connaught Road, Hong KongSite-specific billboard muralphoto by André Santos