Confessions

Confessions is a participatory installation that explores secular spaces for catharsis and consolation. Inspired by Japanese Shinto shrine prayer walls and the practices of Catholicism, Chang invites people to write and submit a confession on a wooden plaque in the privacy of confession booths. The anonymous plaques are then hung on the gallery walls. The project reappropriates religious rites for secular environments and examines the relationship between public space and emotional communion. The original, month-long exhibit in The Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas collected over 1,500 confessions and included an original soundtrack by Oliver Blank. The project has since grown to over 20,000 confessions in other cities.

Responses ranged from the light-hearted to the profound: I love cats and hate my sister, I’m scared I’ll die alone, I still love her two girlfriends and five years later, I sold heroin to my friend and it ruined his life, I eat too much cheese, I’m not as confident as the world thinks I am, my social media is so fake, Sometimes I worry that I’m the problem, I’m in the military and I’m scared to die, I don’t belong here but I want to belong, I don’t believe in an afterlife anymore but I wish that I did.

Originally commissioned by Art Production Fund and The Cosmopolitan, the participatory installation has since been exhibited in other cities, including Athens, Greece with Onassis Cultural Centre (2016); Minsk, Belarus with Ў Gallery of Contemporary Art (2016), London, England with Merge Festival (2017), Yerevan, Armenia with Karoyan Gallery (2017), Stepanakert, Azerbaijan with ARTsakh Fest (2018), San Diego, California with Wonderspaces (2019); Scottsdale, Arizona with Wonderspaces (2019-2020).

2012, Las Vegas, Nevada. Wood, aluminum, acrylic on canvas, string, fabric, ink. 1000 sq ft gallery space. Original ambient score by Oliver Blank. Installation assistance by Abraham King, Kristina Kassem, Wendalyn Lewis, Caroline Oh. Organized by Art Production Fund, Yvonne Force Villareal, Krista Salley, Lily Tran, Casey Fremont Crowe, Sheila Marcello, Cory Mervis. / Onassis Cultural Centre, Athens, Greece, 2016, curated by Afroditi Panagiotakou and Konstantina Soulioti. / Ў Gallery of Contemporary Art, Minsk, Belarus, curated by Oksana Zhgirovskaya, Valentina Kiseleva, Ekaterina Lipnitskaya, and Anna Chistoserdova. / Merge Festival and Hilton Bankside Hotel, London, England, 2017. / Karoyan Gallery and Moscow Cinema, Yerevan, Armenia, 2017, curated by Lilit Antonyan. / ARTsakh Fest, Stepanakert, Azerbaijan, 2018, curated by Anna Kamay. / Wonderspaces, San Diego, California, 2019. / Wonderspaces, Scottsdale, Arizona, 2019-2020.

Chang painting select responses on canvas
Confessions in Athens, Greece in collaboration with Onassis Cultural Centre | Photo by Stavros Petropoulos
Confessions in Athens, Greece in collaboration with Onassis Cultural Centre | Photo by Stavros Petropoulos
Confessions in Minsk, Belarus at Ў Gallery of Contemporary Art | Photo by Viktoriya Kharitonova
Confessions in Minsk, Belarus at Ў Gallery of Contemporary Art | Photo by Viktoriya Kharitonova
Confessions in London, England in collaboration with Merge Festival and Hilton Bankside | Photo by Hilton Bankside
Confessions in London, England in collaboration with Merge Festival and Hilton Bankside | Photo by Visit Bankside
Confessions in Yerevan, Armenia with support from Karoyan Gallery and Moscow Cinema, curated by Lilit Antonyan, 2017
Confessions in Yerevan, Armenia with support from Karoyan Gallery and Moscow Cinema, curated by Lilit Antonyan, 2017
Confessions in San Diego, CA in collaboration with Wonderspaces, 2019. Photo by Adam Elmakias.
Confessions in San Diego, CA in collaboration with Wonderspaces, 2019. Photo by Adam Elmakias.
Confessions in San Diego, CA in collaboration with Wonderspaces, 2019. Photo by Adam Elmakias.
Confessions in Scottsdale, AZ in collaboration with Wonderspaces, 2020. Photo by James Rogers.