Public Art Registry
Welcome to the Land of Light
Photo: Joyce Rautenberg
Welcome to the Land of Light - photo by Joyce Rautenberg
Welcome to the Land of Light - photo by Tamara Tosoff
Welcome to the Land of Light
False Creek shoreline walk at the foot of Drake Street
Shoreline walk guard railings
Aluminum lettering; fibre optic lighting
Site-integrated work
In place
City of Vancouver
Concord Pacific
City of Vancouver Private Development Program
Text-based workYaletown 
Description of work
Aluminum letters spelling out phrases in Chinook (an early coastal trading language) and English are placed along the railing of the sea wall in two parallel lines. Coloured light pulses through an inset fibre-optic cable in the sidewalk directly below the letters.
Artist statement
"Welcome to the Land of Light is a contemporary monument to the relationship between those who have lived on the False Creek waterfront and those who will arrive in the future to call this area their home. For the artist, this public art project is about the concept of home, the building of community, and with the aid of interactive fibre-based technology, the creation of a new world to experience…" (Press release) …"the juxtaposition of English and Chinook Jargon functions as a metaphor for the ongoing development of intercultural communications in this region. Chinook Jargon is a 19th century linga franca that resulted out the need for cross-cultural trade. Most of the approximately 500 word vocabulary of this language can be traced to the dialect of the Columbia River Chinook Tribe in Oregon, with influences of English, French, and Nootkan (Nuu-chah-nulth). At its peak 100,000 to one million people spoke the language from the Pacific coast to the Rocky Mountains, from Northern California to the Alaskan panhandle. Like any pidgin, Chinook Jargon was dynamic and flexible, absorbing different cultural systems of naming as more and more peoples from around the world came to settle on the West Coast. In the first half of the 20th century, the jargon fell out of common use, replaced by the English language." (From the Artist's proposal)
Send us your feedback. Please tell us about your experience or wrong or missing information. 
Silk UI Framework Simulation Device
Resize the window to preview the page in target devices.
Open the settings to change the simulation device options.