Welcome to the Land of Light




Aluminum letters and fibre-optic cable lighting installed along 100 metres of seawall handrail. Permanent public art commission, False Creek, Vancouver, 1997.

This juxtaposition of English and Chinook Jargon, an intercultural pidgin used extensively along the West Coast during the 19th Century, functions as a metaphor for the ongoing development of intercultural communications in this region. Underscoring the text is fibre optic cable lighting that changes colours, a reference to the state-of-the-art (at the time) telecommunications infrastructure that made this site one of the world’s first fibre optic communities. The artwork text speaks about the promise of technology to bring cultures together in the building of a new global village on the site of the former Expo 86 fairgrounds.







Klahowya! Kloshe maika ko yukwa, ka towagh mitlite keekwullie illahee.

Greetings! Good you arrive here, where light be under land.


Alki yaka alta yukwa. Yukwa, maika elip mitlite kahkwa chee.

Future it be now. Here, you begin live like new.


Chako kopa laly ka tillikums wawa huloima, keschi kloshe kunamokst.

Come to time where people talk different but good together.


Spose maika tumtum chako hahlakl, maika iskum chee kumtux.

If you heart mind open, you receive new knowledge.


Maika mitlite kahkwa elektlik eye pe elektlik tumtum pe elektlik wawa latlah.

You have same like electric eye and heart mind and talk sound.


Maika mitlite hyak kahkwa towagh.

You live fast like light.


Nanitch wawa mitlite yukwa, yahwa pe konaway ka kopa ikt laly.

See talk be here there and everywhere at one time.


Nesaika mamook okoke town kloshe, nawitka. Maika halo kwass yukwa.

Us make this community good indeed. You not afraid here.


Yukwa maika elip mitlite kahkwa tyee. Konaway illahee kahkwa kopa maika lamah.

Here, you begin live like chief. World same like in you hand.



2 responses to “Welcome to the Land of Light”

  1. […] today, Henry Tsang, was invited to come and discuss his works along the seawall; his solo piece “Welcome to the Land of Light” (1997) located along the Yaletown seawall, and a project entitled “Maraya,” (2010) a […]

  2. […] time I do, I run by a really cool art installation by Henry Tsang.  It’s called “Welcome to the Land of Light” and I’m always amazed at how my mood changes when I run by it and take the time to read it.  […]