Candy Chang’s Installations at Athens’ Onassis Cultural Centre
Candy Chang’s participatory art installations, including the wildly popular “Before I Die,” (called “one of the most creative community projects ever” by The Atlantic) are now on display at the Onassis Cultural Centre in Athens, Greece. Her works, which began their Athens run with “School of the Future” in February and March, will remain viewable until July 20. Chang’s art engages communities on a deeply personal level, and in her keynotes, she invites personal reflection and inspires novel ideas for more meaningful community and greater well-being.
“School of the Future,” which wrapped up its time in Athens on March 6, reimagines the classroom as a single walkway surrounded by giant red balloons, at the end of which sits an antique schooldesk. There, visitors are encouraged to write down something learned in life that they wish they’d been taught in school, and in so doing, become equal parts teacher and learner.
In “Before I Die” (June 30 – July 20), participants complete a simple but meaningful exercise. On a wall-sized chalkboard, the phrase “Before I die I want to...” is stenciled 80 times, giving passersby the courage to commit their lives’ ambitions to writing while remaining anonymous. To date, there are more than 1,000 “Before I Die” walls in more than 70 countries—proof of the project’s resonance, practicality, and striking visual appeal.
A third project on display is “Confessions” (also June 30–July 20). In private booths, contributors write anonymous secrets on small wooden plaques, which later form a public mural reminiscent of Japan’s Shinto shrine prayer walls.