Before I Die

A global art project that invites people to contemplate mortality and share their personal aspirations in public.

Drawing upon Michel de Montaigne’s proposition that “to philosophize is to learn to die,” the Before I Die project reimagines the ways the walls of our cities can help us grapple with death and meaning as a community today. After the death of someone she loved, Candy Chang created the first wall on an abandoned house in New Orleans. Since then, over five-thousand walls have been created in seventy-six countries, including China, Iran, Russia, Colombia, and South Africa. By inviting people to complete the sentence, “Before I die I want to ___,” these participatory installations serve as an accessible memento mori for individuals to contemplate their mortality with neighbors and passersby. By creating spaces where people can share their inner lives in public, Before I Die reimagines the ways we remember what really matters in an age of increasing distraction and flux. Learn more on the Before I Die website.

Candy Chang

2011
New Orleans, Louisiana, and over 5,000 cities around the world

Chalkboard paint, spray paint, and chalk.

Interested in building a wall? Learn more at the Before I Die website.

The Before I Die book is available now!

As I Age

Nashville, Tennessee

Happiness Is

Nairobi, Kenya

I Run Because

San Francisco

When I Graduate

Atlanta

Lebanon Would Be Better If

Beirut, Lebanon

Energy Enables

Brussels, Belgium

I Go Downtown Because

Tacoma, Washington

My Dream Is

Rio de Janeiro

Today I'm Grateful For

Vancouver

I Love Heraklion Because

Heraklion, Greece

I Design Because

San Francisco

If You Knew Me

Atlanta

Responses from Around the World

Over

5,000

Walls

In

78

Countries

And

36

Languages

Africa
Kenya
Nigeria
South Africa

Asia
Armenia
Azerbaijan
China
India
Iran
Iraq
Israel
Japan
Kazakhstan
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan
Lebanon
Malaysia
Pakistan
Philippines
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Singapore
South Korea
Taiwan
Thailand
United Arab Emirates

Australia & Oceania
Australia
Fiji
New Zealand

europe
Austria
Belgium
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bulgaria
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Georgia
Germany
Hungary
Ireland
Italy
Kosovo
Latvia
Lithuania
Macedonia
Netherlands
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Romania
Serbia
Slovakia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Ukraine
United Kingdom

north america
Canada
Costa Rica
Cuba
Dominican Republic
Guatemala
Haiti
Jamaica
Mexico
Panama
United States

south america
Argentina
Bonaire
Brazil
Chile
Colombia
Curaçao
Ecuador
Paraguay
Peru
Venezuela

Visit the Before I Die website

Interested in creating a wall? Learn more.

More Work