Public Artwork

As one

Jaume Plensa, As one, 2003
Jaume Plensa, As one, 2003. © Laura Plensa
Jaume Plensa, As one, 2003
Jaume Plensa, As one, 2003. © Laura Plensa
Toronto Pearson International Airport , Toronto, ON, Canada
Artwork creator(s): 
Plensa, Jaume
Text author(s): 
Plensa, Jaume
Installation year: 
Remarks on location: 

Inside the airport's Terminal D, international baggage claim


Neon letters welcome passengers as they wait for their luggage. From the chaos of the jumbled letters, words emerge. America, Europa, Asia, Oceania, Africa. As the harmony between the letters that compose these words is highlighted, they form a new one which opens up doors onto a new continent that has yet to exist.

Text of the artwork: 

America, Europa, Asia, Oceania, Africa



Plensa has captured all of the emotions, anticipation and anxiety people feel upon landing in a new country. He has strung together the words "Asia," "Africa," "Oceania," "Europa" and the "America" into one neon superword, 100 meters in length. "I feel today that all the continents are moving to become one again, as they once were," Plensa says, drawing parallels to technology's globalization of the world and the Pangaea of 200 million years ago. "So I have transformed all the 31 letters of the continents into one long word. The thing is, we don't know how to read it yet. We don't have the experience." The words will be illuminated selectively, creating both recognizable and undecipherable text. In as much as the work incorporates the familiar, there is also the unexpected, again mirroring the experience of a traveler arriving in a foreign land.

Natasha Hébert (2005). "Jaume Plensa: Le Sphinx catalan". Espace, no. 71, p.36-39


Jaume Plensa: Le Sphinx catalan

Hébert, Natasha (2005).  Jaume Plensa: Le Sphinx catalan. Espace. no. 71 (Printemps-Spring) , p. 36-39