Beyond walls: Dialogue between the past and present

Saturday June 29 2024

The human chain. PHOTO | POOL


The painting Beyond Walls Step 20: Cairo, depicts two gigantic interlaced hands in the desert sands of Egypt. The artwork, covering 900 square metres, was created using biodegradable pigments made out of charcoal and chalk.

“The encounter between this ephemeral artwork and these millennia-old constructions will be an opportunity to renew the dialogue between the past we inherit and the present we create,” Saype says.

Beyond Walls shows interlaced hands, reaching out, shaking and united in a common effort beyond all walls separating humans and enclosing them in mental or geographical spaces.

In each of his works, Saype captures the fragility of our societies and the challenges we are all called upon to overcome, through the monumental frescoes he creates on grass, earth, sand, and snow around the world: New York, Paris, Venice, Geneva, Cape Town, Turin, Dubai, Nairobi, Istanbul, Ouagadougou, Miami, and more.

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Among his most notable works is the Beyond Walls series. This project started with a premise: The world is polarising, and some people are choosing to withdraw. Nevertheless, Saype says, “I am convinced that it is together that humanity will overcome the various challenges it faces.”


The project began in Paris at the foot of the Eiffel Tower in 2019 and travels from city to city with the ambition of crossing the five continents and connecting people from around the world.

Saype creates monumental frescoes on grass and earth to call for world lasting peace. He invented an eco-responsible paint composed mainly of chalk and charcoal. He is seen as the pioneer of an artistic movement linking street art and land art.

Saype was born on February 17, 1989 in Belfort, France, not far from the Swiss border.

He created his first graffiti as a teenager under the pseudonym Saype – Say Peace. Ten years ago he came to Switzerland to work as a qualified nurse.

A passionate self-taught artist, he taught himself numerous painting techniques early on, and developed a biodegradable paint in 2013. Today he is an internationally renowned artist and cultural figure and a pioneer of grass painting. He still lives in Switzerland, in the Jura.

His works have been presented in France and Switzerland. In 2019, he presented a paint-splattered figure in a baseball cap kneeling down on a vast stretch of lawn beneath the Eiffel Tower in Paris.