Critical Spatial Practice

The Pass (October 2017–June 2018)
  • Chen Kai-Wen | Bao Soho, London

  • Dry Store KP Easy Prep Room Rota The Pass Ticket Translation
  • The Pass is a video work that pays homage to those who contribute their labour and skills to the production of food in the hospitality industry. ‘The Pass’ derives from a kitchen term referring to the space between the front and the back of the house, where transactions of orders and plates take place. 

    The Pass evolved through reconfiguring and transposing the dynamic that such transactions create; revealing the physicality that embodies both mental and physical exploitation of those who work ‘The Pass’ – experiencing its embedded surveillance and management techniques – and how the owners benefit from imposing such techniques on their employees. 


    Kai-Wen is interested in the codes and gestures of city dwellers, and explored the complexity of the hospitality industry while working on a minimum wage at JKS, an award-winning restaurant group in London. Besides working as a commis chef, Kai holds a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Shih-Chien University and received his MA in Situated Practice at The Bartlett, where he attended Prof. Jane Rendell’s Site-Writing class. Kai has worked as an architect at Kaohsiung and Taipei, he is currently undertaking training for his upcoming military service in South America.

    Project Given Table (2018):


    The project aims to reveal the configuration of engaging in a labouring condition, and how it models workers’ behavior, raising, in Giorgio Agamben’s terms, the notion of the apparatus. At the same time, the approach which the project adopted addressed the nuanced space between anthropological field work, performance art, and architectural site documentation.

    Inequality. Food offering. Apparatus, Surveillance. Working condition. Authenticity.


    George Orwell, Down and out in Paris and London, (1933)

    Barbara Ehrenreich, Nickel and Dimed: On (not) getting by in America (2001).

    Other projects:
  • not nothing (August 2019)
  • Stori Mwd (A Story of Mud), (2019)
  • Time on Site (2019)
  • Caring for Communities (2017-2019)
  • Matter of the Manor (2015-19)
  • Viscous Myths (2017/2018)
  • The Pass (October 2017–June 2018)
  • Portal Zaryadye: A Portal Not Only to Heaven, But Aslo To Hell (24 July 2018 – 12 July 2018)
  • Bamboo dialogues (2016)
  • Hanging Matters (2014)
  • Civic Pedagogy, learning as critical spatial practice (2019)
  • A Weird-Tender in progress (2019)
  • A walk in your words (25.01.2019)
  • Text-isles: sowing an idea, October (2018)
  • Objects removed for study (2018)
  • windwoundweatherwovenwirewoman [performance] (2017)
  • Request for the unrequested voluntary interlinguisticality (2017)
  • Bodies + Borders (2017 – present)
  • a place called … (Spring 2017)
  • Uppland (2016-18)
  • P | A | N – Proyecto Amasandería Nacional (2016)
  • Make Me Yours: How Art Seduces (2016)
  • Music for Masterplanning (2016-17)
  • In My Mothers’ Garden: Memories and practices of Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp (2016)
  • Having not felt like eating, but eaten, I sat down to eat / tea … (2016)
  • Alternative Arrangements: Walking the Border in Ireland (2016 – ongoing)
  • The First World Congress of the Missing Things (2014)
  • Private Choices, Public Spaces (2014)
  • A Game of Dominoes (2013)
  • Lina & Gio: the last humanists (February-June 2012)
  • Learning-through-Touring (2012)
  • Empty Words Build Empty Homes (2012)
  • Ridley’s (2011)
  • Palimpsest Performances (2010-2014)
  • Expanded Architecture (2010-2014)
  • Negotiating Conflict: Bordering Practices in a Divided Beirut (2010 – 2014)
  • Unfixing Place: A Study of Istanbul through Topographical Practices (2008)
  • Back to Top