arts and pop culture | September 03, 2013

First Look: Preview Of Before I Die, The Book, By Candy Chang

"The Before I Die project was a way for me to make sense of the aftermath [of the death of a loved one]," artist and speaker Candy Chang says in a Huffington Post op-ed. The project—a blank chalkboard with spaces to share your thoughts on what you'd do before you die—has had the same therapeutic impact on hundreds of others, as well. Since the project began in 2011, people in over 24 countries have erected more than 250 walls in 15 different languages. "It's been one of the greatest experiences of my life to see this little experiment in New Orleans grow into a global project," Chang adds. Now, the public spaces artist is taking the project from the streets to the page; transforming the Before I Die installation into a book due out November 5th.

"304 pages long, the colorful hardcover book features the story of the first wall, walls around the world, personal stories from organizers and people who have written on a wall, insights into our aspirations from city to city and as a whole, and much more," Chang's website reveals. You can pre-order the book from Amazon, and, check out a sneak peak of Before I Die, the book, below (photos courtesy of

"The Before I Die walls are an honest mess of the longing, pain, joy, insecurity, gratitude, fear, and wonder you find in every community," Chang says. "Seeing other people's feelings have encouraged me to explore my own. I'm grateful to all my neighbors who have helped stir my mind and step back, pause, be quiet, and reflect."

Praise for Candy Chang's "Before I Die" project:

  • “Through a series of large-scale projects that combine installation art with social activism, Chang has encouraged people to engage with public spaces to let their voices be heard.”—O Magazine

  • “They’re the stuff of everyday life from people of all walks of life . . .Young or old, rich or poor, the [Before I Die] wall does make you think as you walk by.”—NBC’s Rock Center, with Brian Williams

  • “Before I Die is merely one of the most creative community projects ever.”—The Atlantic

Candy Chang is as dynamic a speaker as she is a public spaces artist. To book Candy Chang for your next conference or event, contact The Lavin Agency.