I have thought hard about this matter and I have decided that I will not put my name on the petition on SKL0’s call for lighter sentence, for two reasons:
a.) Most of her stuff is cute – and that’s fine. But airbrushing “My Grandfather’s Road” in front of the MND, pasting stickers on private vans and having a sticker of what looks like LKY, followed by the words “Limpeh” (a crude, sarcastic Hokkien way of saying “My Father”) … is not acceptable. It is disrespectful, it intrudes on the rights of others to a civilized visual space and can easily be misconstrued as an attempt to take online political heat into the real world.
b.) The entire petition project seeks only the views of those online, not the views of those offline: thus is not a good representation of what Singapore society wants.
Instead of urging the authorities to take lighter action, I would instead urge the authorities to clarify their stance on whatever action they want to take. Above that, perhaps it would be a gesture of goodwill to retain the better part of her work and remove offending ones.
I do not think that the authorities are that uptight about creativity. Remember what happened a few years ago when a “vandal” was hired to airbrush SingPost’s letterboxes? Members of the public brought in the police instead and SingPost had to deal with extensive negative PR.
Art is a matter close to me. It is not fair to the many, many well celebrated artists and performers out there to simply say that Singapore is not a creative society. Provocative expression on the streets is by no means the only platform to grow creativity – by saying it is, is doing great injustice to those who have went through years of art school and self training.
If SKL0’s work was merely stuff like “Press To Teleport” etc, I would have also supported the call for lighter sentence. But in this case, I’ll trust the legal system to do it’s own homework.
And yes, I do urge the authorities to consider leaving some of her more innocent work where they are.