What Will You Achieve Before You Die?
What do you want to accomplish in your lifetime? It’s a loaded question, but one well worth asking. Instead of posing this provocative problem at a party, artist Candy Chang decided to engage with the idea head-on, creating a beautiful, inspiring series of public works titled “Before I Die.”
This interactive art series was intended to be a singular experiment, but the original Before I Die wall was such a success that it has spread to cities around the globe. Chang had the idea for this brilliant bucket list project following a period of depression. A natural introvert, she wanted to find a way to connect with others, to reach out and speak to people in her New Orleans community without actually speaking. And so she provided a blank space and a sentence to be completed: “Before I Die…”
Now, Before I Die is a cultural touchstone, a meaningful question that spans continents and connects individuals through the simple act of sharing their hopes and dreams. Answers are varied and fascinating. Some people have simple goals (“to lose this damn weight”) others are more lofty (“to go to the stars”) and others are just plain sweet (“to help my neighbor”). And in 2013, Chang compiled the various projects from around the world in one gorgeous coffee table book, filled with lovely graphics and thoughtful quotes.
Of course, Before I Die is more than a book. It’s more than a project. It’s a way of remembering how to live—with hearts full of hope and eyes full of beauty. What will you do before you die?