Creative in association withGear Seven

TBWA\Italy Launches Smok-Ink Exhibition

Advertising Agency
New York, USA
Project halfway between art & science tells what happens to the lungs of a smoker

The Smok-Ink exhibition is an innovative project halfway between art and science, conceived by Moreno De Turco and Mirco Pagano, a creative team at TBWA\Italy and made with the artistic support of the street artist Ozmo. It is a project by First Floor Under, digital publishing house and event venue, created under the artistic direction of Francesco Guerrera and Nicola Lampugnani.

Humanitas, center of excellence for treatment and research, has supplied the creative team with scientific information and has supported the project together with Fondazione Humanitas.


The result is a 60 square meter canvas entirely hand painted, with an artistic infographic scientific twist. Numbers, images and words are combined together and tell, with a very understandable but particular language, what happens to the lungs of a smoker.



Smok-Ink (#smokink) is an installation that literally involves the visitors showing "from within" the damages caused by cigarette smoke. The result, therefore, turns the perspective upside down and it is an experience that leaves its mark.


Ozmo, the famous Italian street artist, has lent his hand to make the canvas: "After exploring almost all the mediums of painting, this time I used something very special to interpret an invitation to health advocacy."


"For me, as a smoker, this was a particular initiative," said Moreno Del Turco. "Talking to young people in a new and credible way is never easy. I tried, therefore, to do something impactful that would work first of all on me. Really, seeing what I do every day to my body has been a challenge". Mirco Pagano adds: "Our idea was born from the intuition of bringing people within their own lungs which are represented as a canvas. The message is strong and the medium even stronger."


Yes, because the canvas was painted with a special ink, obtained using a purpose built machine that literally smoked cigarettes in order to extract the harmful substances that are deposited in our body. These substances have been used as an ink to paint, hence the name of the exhibition "Smok-Ink".

"Even today, smoke is a major killer worldwide and is responsible for about 70,000 deaths a year in Italy alone", says Dr. Armando Santoro, director of Humanitas Cancer Center. Despite the restrictions and the numerous awareness campaigns, the number of tobacco users is struggling to fall, even young people and women start to smoke earlier and earlier. "Humanitas has always been in the forefront in the fight against smoke, offering citizens a Anti-smoking Center, where specialists build a tailor made path based on the patient’s needs. But we have to continue to look for new ways of health advocacy, including communication. The initiative Smok-Ink goes in this direction, encouraging young people to overcome nicotine addiction, through a marriage between art and medicine", Santoro said.


“We have completely rethought the editorial content of First Floor Under and we have decided to focus on bigger and more interesting events, in terms of execution and content. We have decided to do so with two of the best and most eclectic creatives of our team. Mirco and Moreno have been the protagonists of the opening of First Floor Under with “Piracy”, an exhibition that has literally made a world tour. “Smok-Ink”, therefore, is our new beginning which coincides with the online launch of the website entirely renewed. I feel the need to stress that “Smok-Ink” is the result of a team work that, a partfrom Ozmo and DaDomani, has also involved Viriginia Ottina and Federico Gatto, a couple of young art directors and Federico Fornasari, our skilled producer. Without their help, we would have never been able to reach such an important result”, comments Francesco Guerrera, artistic director with Nicola Lampugnani of First Floor Under. 


The installation was designed and built in collaboration with Dadomani, a creative animation studio, which does not limit its work to video.


Smok-Ink is also online:



Artistic Directors First Floor Under:    Francesco Guerrera, Nicola Lampugnani
Creators and curators Smok-Ink:    Moreno Del Turco, Mirco Pagano
Artist:    Gionata “Ozmo” Gesi 
Assistant to the artist:            Mattia Turco
Producer:                    Federico Fornasari
Art director (calligrapher):            Virginia Ottina
Account executive:                 Marianna Capua
Creative director (Digital):            Michele La Fiandra
Web developer:                Chiara Villotta
Art Director Digital:                Federico Gatto


Production company:            First Floor Under
Experience Design:                Dadomani Studio
Video Maker:                    Flash Factory
Music:                        Sheldon Cooper




Medical content:    Dott. Armando Santoro, directoR Humanitas Cancer Center
Dott.ssa Licia Siracusano, Centro Antifumo Humanitas Cancer Center
Dott.ssa Margherita Autuori, Centro Antifumo Humanitas Cancer Center 

With the support of Fondazione Humanitas 

Work from TBWA Worldwide
BEHR Paint Company
Project Jupiter