Before I die is a participatory public art project created by Candy Chang. It all began in New Orleans after Chang lost someone she loved and was struggling with channelling her emotions which led to her becoming depressed. In order to share intimately with neighbours and help restore perspective while remaining an introvert, Chang created an interactive wall on an abandoned house in her neighbourhood. After receiving permission, she painted the house with chalkboard paint and decorated it with grid of the sentence “Before I die I want to______”. Anyone who walked by could take a piece of chalk and share their personal aspiration in public. It was an experiment, however, the next day the wall was full of responses and it kept growing. It helped her understand her neighbours as well as that she is not alone. After posting a few pictures, the image spread and Chang received hundreds of messages from people around the world who wanted to put up a wall in their area. Over 1,000 Before I die walls have been created in over 35 languages and over 70 countries.
Therefore, without the participation of the public this project couldn’t reach such an immense global attention and respond.
And if you wan to make your own wall, there are instructions on Candy Chang’s website www.beforeidie.cc