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Chance City – The Embodiment of Lost Hope

Created by artist Jean Shin, Chance City is made-up of $32,404 worth of discarded “Scratch & Win” lottery tickets, displayed at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

What can you do with thousands of apparently worthless losing lottery tickets? Not much, either recycle them or use them as building material. Jean Shin opted for the second choice and created a number of urban buildings she chose to call Chance City.

The structures of Chance City are sustained only by gravity and friction, yet some of them have been around since 2002, when the project started. Back then, the design contained $17,119 worth of lottery tickets, but it grew to $24,496 worth in 2004 and plans to expand even more.

Chance City is the embodiment of failed hopes of ordinary people, while its fragile-looking, yet resilient buildings “are symbols of the American Dream representing how labor, money and resilience defy the odds of a fragile existence”.

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