Before I Die: A Project By Artist Candy Chang

Artist Candy Chang made a stencil with the words “Before I die I want to ______.” and posted it on a wall in New Orleans, LA. This is what happened.

1. Here’s the stencil:

“It was an experiment and I didn’t know what to expect. By the next day, the wall was bursting with handwritten responses and it kept growing…” - Candy Chang

2. And here’s the abandoned house after Candy finished the wall.

She left chalk so that anyone could write on it.

3. It started out pretty organized.

4. And then the words started spilling over.

5. And soon every inch of the wall was filled with the words of strangers.

“…People’s responses made me laugh out loud and they made me tear up. They consoled me during my toughest times. I understood my neighbors in new and enlightening ways, and the wall reminded me that I’m not alone as I try to make sense of my life.” — Candy Chang

6. They washed the wall and it started to fill up again.

“…find my purpose!”
“…forget racism.”
“…do a cartwheel.”
“…do it all over.”

“…be someone’s cavalry.”
“…tell my mother I love her.”
“…Live in another country”
“…evaporate into the light.”

10. The project had a happy ending; the house was sold and would become a home.

Candy left one last quote on the wall for the owners.

11. Interested in doing a project like this yourself? There’s kits you can get so you can make your own wall.

Remember, though, that Candy got a permit and made sure the wall was legal.

On the site there are other languages, too, as the project spread globally.

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