Exhibition Permanent

From 4 July 2024

eL Seed

Waves Only Exist Because the Wind Blows

Curated by Cedar Lewisohn

Admission is free and online reservation guarantees priority access in the selected time slot. Members have priority access even without reservation.

Waves Only Exist Because the Wind Blows is the title of the new, monumental-scale work by eL Seed on the exterior walls of the “Cubo” space at Pirelli HangarBicocca, covering a total area of 1,000 square meters and visible from the adjacent area of Sesto San Giovanni, from the adjoining road and bordering railway yards. The site-specific work was commissioned and produced as part of the “Outside the Cube” project, dedicated to transitory forms of art and linked to public spaces which was born in 2016 with the creation of the work Efêmero by OSGEMEOS.

eL Seed is a contemporary artist whose practice encom­passes both painting and sculpture. Over a twenty-five-year career, he has developed a distinctive visual language, in­fluenced by the practice of calligraphy and Urban art, which he uses for outdoor interventions in public spaces, often on an architectur­al scale. The projects are characterized by intricate layers of color, symbols and signs, like universal messages and reflections on the issues of coexistence, peace and freedom.

For his murals, he uses the power of language as a medium to forge global connections and evoke ideas of unity and cohesion, celebrating the beauty and unique­ness of the heritage of the countries he en­counters on his travels. eL Seed conducts extensive research to better understand the essence of the many communities he en­counters and to engage with cultures differ­ent from his own, each time drawing inspira­tion from the wisdom of various local writers, poets, and philosophers.
For years, eL Seed has explored the question of home and identity, the intricacies of migration, the longing for connection and the yearning for a fulfilling sense of belonging.

In Pirelli HangarBicocca, eL Seed is creating an art piece that celebrates the shared journey and the need to belong somewhere. With the shape of a wave beautifully embodying the recurring theme of coming and going, the artwork depicts the wisdom of Cesare Pavese and his famous phrase from the novel La luna e i falò (The moon and the bonfires): “Everyone needs to have a place where he belongs, even if it’s only for the sake of leaving”.
Through eL Seed’s distinctive visual language this artwork amplifies its meaning and talks to everyone about the collective memories of each of us, the layers of our identity. 

“Where is home? Is it a place or a feeling? As human beings, we all want to belong somewhere, to a place, to a group. The feeling of being at home is intertwined with the feeling of belonging. The psychological sense of attachment to home is so complex and profound that it goes beyond the physical aspects of a place. It involves a deep emotional connection and a sense of rootedness. As humans, we all long for a sense of belonging. Milan is an international hub that has always been busy welcoming people from all walks of life, joyfully celebrating their diversity while preserving their sense of rootedness and identity” explains the artist.

The project is curated by Cedar Lewisohn, author of different publications on art in public space and Street Art and curator, who explains: eL Seed’s commission for Pirelli HangarBicocca builds on the artist’s impressive track record of playing with architectural sites from the perspective of history in the here and now. The installation asks urgent and challenging questions about issues shaping our world. The work defies simple classification. It’s site specific, lyrical and subtly political. eL Seed’s process involves geographical research based on quotations, that are factual, but also seek out the soul of the locations they inhabit. This mixed with his exquisite use of forms and colour combinations has created an oeuvre that speaks to diverse communities in all corners of the globe”.


About eL Seed

eL Seed’s work has been shown in exhibitions and in public places all over the world including most notably on the facade of Institut du monde Arabe in Paris, in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, on the DMZ between North and South Korea, in the slums of Cape Town and in the heart of Manshiyat Nasr, Cairo’s garbage collectors’ neighborhood.
In 2021, eL Seed was selected by the World Economic Forum as one of the Young Global Leaders for his vision and influence in driving positive change in the world.
In 2019, he won “The international award for public art” for his project in Cairo Perception.
In 2017, he won the Unesco Sharjah prize for Arab Culture. He was named a global Thinker in 2016 by Foreign Policy for his project Perception.
In 2015, the international organization TED recognized him as one of the year’s TED Fellows for advocating peaceful expression and social progress through his work. He has also collaborated with Louis Vuitton on their famous “Foulard d’Artistes”.

About “Outside the Cube”

In 2016, Pirelli HangarBicocca, a cultural institution directed by Vicente Todolí and devoted since 2004 to promoting contemporary art through international exhibitions and projects presented in its indoor spaces, Navate and Shed, expanded its borders by dedicating a large outdoor area to new public art projects.

The work Waves Only Exist Because the Wind Blows by eL Seed follows Efêmero by artists OSGEMEOS (until February 2024).

Through the “Outside the Cube” project, curated by Cedar Lewisohn, Pirelli HangarBicocca started a dialogue that over time, will turn the institution and its spaces into a new touchstone for developing and highlighting the artistic languages connected to the metropolitan context.

The building is on Via Chiese in Milan, a former train factory, located in an area on the city’s fringe which is divided by the railway and dotted with vast former industrial lots, now occupied by creative SMEs, the University of Milano-Bicocca and other educational institutions, as well as a nursery school and shopping center. Spontaneous works of art are already a major presence in the area, especially on the wall running along the train tracks from the Greco Pirelli station to the Sesto San Giovanni bridge.

Pirelli HangarBicocca, a non-profit Foundation conceived and supported by Pirelli, was created in continuity with Pirelli’s corporate culture. The company has always been committed to innovation, which also involves research into the forms of contemporary art that can in turn lead to new perspectives on the most important issues of the day: from the environmental emergency to social and geopolitical issues, to social inclusion and the future of multi-cultural societies. The program “Outside the Cube”, which has featured the interventions of the artists OSGEMEOS and currently that of eL Seed on the external spaces of Pirelli HangarBicocca, is part of Pirelli’s broader cultural project, which sees in the opening of dialogues between different cultures and forms of artistic expression its fundamental purpose.


July 3rd 2024 opening – live set by Beatrice Dillon

The July 3rd 2024 opening was accompanied by a conversation between eL Seed and project curator Cedar Lewisohn at 8PM, followed by Beatrice Dillon’s live set at 8.30PM. Beatrice Dillon at 8.30PM presented new, unreleased solo music developed since her latest album Workaround (PAN, 2020) in a live set curated by LL, a platform for artistic and cultural production. A protagonist of the experimental scene of the past ten years, Beatrice Dillon has established herself not only through her record production, but also through her search for languages and stimuli from a non-Western musical world.

    Your cart
    Cart is emptyBack to shop
      Calculate Shipping
      Apply Coupon