Before I Die...

December 20, 2013

Candy Chang, New Orleans artist, urban planner, and TED Senior Fellow, believes that, “Our public spaces are as profound as we allow them to be.” Passionate about personal well-being and shared life, Chang creates public art that prompts neighbors to think about and discuss their hopes and dreams. Before I Die… is a poignant project that Chang began after losing someone close, inspiring her to investigate grief alongside community. This opus is dedicated to the public transformation of an abandoned house in to a space for sharing life and living. With neighborhood permission, Chang created a giant chalkboard with a fill-in the-blank sentence, “Before I die I want to…” repeated. She left colorful chalk for those inspired to dig deep in to their imagination on the street. Overnight, the wall was covered with funny, surprising, wild answers. It sparked a movement, these walls spreading to more than 30 countries, from China, Australia, the U.S. to the United Arab Emirates and Israel. This book is a collection of some of Chang’s favorite answers from around the world. And in the truest sense of sharing, Chang offers instructions in the end of the book on how readers can start a Before I Die… wall in their own city. “Each wall is a tribute to living an examined life.”
-Lalé Shafaghi