Creativity 50 2013: Candy Chang

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Candy Chang's art serves as a wake-up call in our fast-paced digital age. Armed with little more than chalk, labels or post-it notes, she transforms nondescript urban spaces into compelling works that inspire the often device-obsessed masses to engage with each other, and the world around them.  In 2011, she turned an abandoned house in her New Orleans neighborhood into a place for passersby to reflect on their bucket lists, simply by imprinting the words “Before I die I want to_________” on a wall covered with chalkboard paint. Since then, the public art project has spread to other parts of the world, in 15 languages and in more than 40 countries, including Japan, Kazakhstan, Australia and Portugal. 

Her other efforts include a project that invited people to imagine what could become of abandoned storefronts via stickers imprinted with the words “I Wish This Was.”  And, in an appropriately racy twist, she created an installation for The Cosmopolitan hotel in Las Vegas called “Confessions,” an intersection of Shinto prayer walls and Catholicism that invited people to write and submit their misdeeds and secrets on wooden plaques in confessional booths. Up next for Ms. Chang is education. Her latest project is The School of the Future, an installation that invites people to think about schools’ role in shaping who we are. 

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