asad raza installs neon orange, interactive tennis court inside 16th century church in milan

asad raza installs neon orange, interactive tennis court inside 16th century church in milan

artist asad raza has installed ‘untitled (plot for dialogue)’ within the interior space of a late 16th century deconsecrated church. in doing so, milan’s la chiesa di san paolo converso has been re-purposed as a contemporary art space. raza’s work explores how objects, humans, and non-human beings inhabit space through social practices. within the church’s main interior space, the artist introduces a tennis installation, framed by the placement of lines, netting, racquets, iced jasmine tea, scent, and individual coaches. raza has re-purposed the church, a place in which many go to communicate with higher authorities, as a space of personal growth and recreation.

asad raza
asad raza installs a tennis court within converso’s church space in milan
all images © andrea rossetti



raza’s love of tennis, which serves as a way to absorb energy, fed into his inspiration for this installation for converso. visitors who choose to interact with the installation, inhabit their bodies in coordinated action. players respond to each other through the medium of sport and through the ball and racquet. the piece places the experience above purely visual appreciation: the back-and-forth of the tennis ball exchange produces its own meditative beauty in a space surrounded by the frescos illustrating scenes from the life of saint paul the apostle, carefully painted by the campi brothers.

asad raza
the deconsecrated church now functions as a viewing space for contemporary artworks and installations

asad raza
the tennis players are surrounded by frescos illustrating the life of paul the apostle

asad raza
the frescos were painted in the late 16th century by giulio and antonio campi

asad raza
the installation includes the artist’s addition of jasmine tea, a curated scent, and tennis coaches

asad raza
the artwork responds the existing interior space and its decoration

asad raza
the installation is free to the public and fully interactive, inviting visitors to take part in the tennis game



project info:


director and curator: alexander may
curator: michele d’aurizio
exhibition coordinator: nadine d’archemont
assistants: giulia ratti, chiara spagnol
tennis coaches: tommaso agrati, edoardo bodini, tommaso corbetta, chiara dell’acqua, jacopo mazzetti, marco zanghì


  • This is a disgusting display of my city’s love for the avant garde. I have zero religion and do not care. However, this church was built for religious purposes and to ignore that is gross disrespect. I care about aesthetics: it’s ugly. It serves no athletic purpose for a community nor does it enhance the space artistically. And what about protecting the freschi from the balls that will inevitably hit them? It is a glorious example of a waste of money and of the worst of Milano, the home town I adore.

    Elisabetta di Cagno says:
  • Sorry Elisabetta but your outrage is misplaced. The church was deconsecrated over a hundred years ago, so there is no sacrilege, and netting protected the balls from touching the walls of the church. If you don’t like the idea that is fine, but it is neither disrespectful nor damaging to the space.

    Alessandro Boname says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

art news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
502,536 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample