5 Art Installations That Will Boost Your Faith in Humanity

There’s a lot of cool art out in the world, but how much of it confronts today’s biggest challenges?

From a salt installation built in honor of brain cancer victims to a display of one million bones in protest of ongoing genocide, these art initiatives engage with urban decay, persecution, disease and other tribulations in incredibly courageous ways. Check out these five installations that made us feel a little better about life.


In this urban initiative, artist Jan Vormann used Lego pieces to patch holes in crumbling walls in various communities around the world. While introducing a pop of color in the locals’ everyday lives, Vormann remains socially and environmentally conscious about the beautification of lesser-cared-for communities. Pause for a minute, play around with the interactive piece, and admire the beauty of the message.

pigeonnier : dispatchwork de Jan Vormann


Hailing from Hiroshima, Japan, Motoi Yamamoto creates intricate, large-scale salt installations that mourn the many victims of brain cancer. After witnessing his sister pass away from the disease, he began creating art that reflected his grief.

In Japan, it is customary for one to sprinkle salt after leaving a funeral in order to ward off evil, and Yamamoto’s salt installations represent his spiritual desire to protect the world from illness and death.


To Do

Sometime we get so lost in the routines of daily life, that we push our biggest dreams to the back of our minds. In an effort to bring back forgotten passions, Illegal Art, a public art collective that installs mindful and self-reflective artworks in urban spaces, had passersby write down their top priorities in life.

Through participatory-based initiatives, Illegal Art pushes everyday citizens to take a pause and reflect on what they really need to check off their “to-do” lists.


Introduced during the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20 is a sustainable community effort to minimize the trash building up in our oceans. (According to a report in Newsweek, there were 5.3 trillion pieces of plastic, weighing close to 270,000 tons, polluting the oceans at the end of 2014.) Made entirely out of water bottles, this fish installation in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is a reminder of the harm all this waste causes to ocean life. And as Dory of Finding Nemo wisely said, “Just keep swimming” – we’d like the fish to stay that way.
r02_RTR33W24 APTOPIX Brazil Rio+20

One Million Bones

Artist and activist Naomi Natale had a grand message that required a grand community effort. To protest genocide and mass atrocities in countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, Iraq and Somalia, she proposed to fabricate and lay out one million bones outside the White House. Receiving the help of thousands of public school students and volunteers from around the country, Natale was able to deliver her powerful message on June 8, 2013. Talk about a great coming together!


Dr. J.L. Harter
Wonderful! I love this.
Crop & Save