JCA Signature Series: Candy Chang, artist, "Making Space for Creativity and Innovation"

April 4, 2023 @ 7:30pm

Through the activation of public spaces around the world, Taiwanese-American artist Candy Chang creates work that envisions the future of communal ritual in an increasingly alienating world. Her practice includes participatory public art installations of anonymous, handwritten reflections, as well as reproductions of these reflections through video and mixed media. She is interested in the future of ritual in public life and merging traditional Asian arts with the modern psyche. She is caretaker of over one million handwritten anxieties, hopes, pains, and moments of grace in the early 21st century.

She is most known for her 2011 participatory public artwork Before I Die, which reimagines how the walls of our cities can help us grapple with mortality and meaning as a community today. Over 5,000 Before I Die walls have been created by communities in over 75 counties, and The Atlantic called it “one of the most creative community projects ever.” In the early 2000s, she co-founded a record label, which spurred her to wheatpaste artwork of their music around downtown New York. While studying architecture and urban planning, she used the tactics of street art to create participatory art with communities around the world to reflect on the state of our neighborhoods. After struggling with grief and depression, she used this medium to reflect on the state of our psyches. She has created a monument of over 50,000 anxieties and hopes, secular spaces for confessions, and electrified shrines on emotional barriers. Her ritual on loss was a 2021 New York Times Critic’s Pick. She has worked with organizations including Art Production Fund, the Rubin Museum of Art, Mural Arts Philadelphia, and the Annenberg Foundation. She often collaborates with James A. Reeves and their work can be found at Ritual Fields.

She is a TED Senior Fellow, Urban Innovation Fellow, and World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. She is a recipient of the Tony Goldman Visionary Artist Award, EPIC Impact Society Artist Award, and was named a “Live Your Best Life” Local Hero by Oprah Magazine, as well as one of the Top 100 Leaders in Public Interest Design. She is a recipient of grants from the National Endowment of the Arts, Hemera Foundation, and Rockefeller Foundation. Her work has been exhibited in the Venice Architecture Biennale, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. She has lived in New Orleans, Helsinki, and New York, and is currently a 2022 Innovator-in-Residence at the American School in London.

This performance is free and open to the public, no ticket is required.


Masks are strongly encouraged to be worn by all patrons while in the venue. 

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Shelton Auditorium
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Tuesday | 4.4.237:30pm
No Tickets Required