Review Arts Censorship: The Petition

(From the editor: These are the views of Madmonk. However, personally, I am a little more sympathetic towards artists and perhaps the law can be debated a little to ease the pressure. But what is good here is that this little piece of satire highlights the problems involved in doing so. No one on this planet has the right to answer decide: What is art.  

It’ll be interesting to see how this turns out. Before we proceed further, this is a link to her work. Is it really art? Or does she have another agenda? You decide:

Wah, I’ve been told that many people out there want to petition to simi move the charge from Vandalism to Miscellaneous Offence.

I support:  I tell you why ah, I also run business. This business require me to design art on walls, i show you:

Maybe this kind too simple, maybe we try something more avant garde:

Our other brudders went overseas to do study, maybe can try this style, I think liddat more art (although if we do liddat, we have to charge 200% interest liao) :

What, you think not nice ah? Eh hallo, my brudders took how long to study and design all this ok? Who are you to criticize if it’s art or not? People simi SLK0 just use words nia, I use airbrush can?

If my art cannnot, then you tell me lah: what can be classified as art?

If you can give me a good answer, I give you discount on my money lending service, steady?

Post Writing Notes:

Don’t say i “boh tak chek”: art is art even if it is art to one person. But is personal artistic expression for public property? We don’t even want to go there – this is not something a single petition can do; this is something that all of society needs to decide. If SKL0 is free to do what she wants, then so is the Ah-Long or any single person in our country. If you have read the book “Freakonomics”, it talks about how the removal of vandalism on New York trains led to a dip in crime. So it’s not just about creative self expression, it is also about responsibility of civil living.

It is up to you, the reader to decide if you want our public property to be an open canvas for all. The petition is there, go and sign if you feel strongly for it. 

And by the way, this lady should have sought for approval first. Not do first then seek for approval. Unless of course she really intends to be a vandal – anti-social, anti-legal and anti-establishment.

  1. Maybe it’s not art. But it isn’t vandalism that requires a 3-year jail term as maximum penalty. Hence the reclassification to Public Nuisance.

    A loan shark runner not only commits that offence under the miscellaneous offences act, but can also be charged with intimidation, etc.

    1. “Maximum” of 3 years jail term – that will be decided by the judge to see if her conviction warrants the type of punishment. If not, it could be much lighter.

  2. Your right to your artistic expression ends right at the tip of my nose.
    The cost to remove the spray paint done on public property comes from public coffers.If the perpetrator is just given a light tap on the wrist, others would take the cue from the frivolity of it all, and in no time the public cleansing staff would be unproductively occupied in removing all sorts of “artistic expressions” on public and even private property. A teenager Down Under was shot dead when he ignored the warnings of a private property owner to discontinue spray painting graffiti on the latter’s property.

  3. She vandalised public property regardless of whether she is talented, female, Singaporean or not. This is the crux of the matter. Can you refute that what she did was not vandalism? What if she sprayed paint all over your house along your corridor? Is that vandalism or art? Would you have called the police?

    I strongly disagree that we can’t be creative just because we are not allowed to spray paint on public property. And I disagree being creative means there is a need to break the law. If so, then those who broke the law to be creative aren’t too creative!

    I am also shocked elsewhere online that there is a loud support for someone who vandalised public property! Some even called what she did art and condemned the authorities for arresting her. This is in stark contrast with the condemnations that the two foreigners received for sprayed paint our MRT trains sometime back! For the train’s case, why didn’t people stand up for them and said that those were expressions of art as well and that the law should be lenient for them?

    And what about other vandal cases? And who can forget the publicity stunt that Singpost pulled by getting people to ‘vandalise’ their post boxes…wasn’t there a loud outcry against Singpost then? Why the double standards?

    I say the sticker vandal would have to be serve the full arm of the law. No two way about it. Yes, she may be artistic…but by the same standard, so were the MRT spray paint vandals. What made her action any different from the train vandals that she should be punished less? And there was not many who stood up for them as they did for her now. Why? Some of you make it sound like it is ok to spray paint and stick stickers on public property. Until someone can justify that what she did is not vandalism, I don’t see why she should be let off at all.

    1. Hi KT,
      I think there are no absolute in life. and i hope we as a society do not forget how and when the constitution of law was created and for what purpose.

      i appeal for us to be less uptight and allow some sense of humour. sklo’s work and intention is completely different from careless vandalism. let’s take a few steps back and not jump to judgement so urgently.

      i’d like to share a note i came across on facebook by someone who articulate what the little playful and harmless stickers did:

      “i like her stickers, it calms me when i cross the road.

      The artwork itself, in a way, also reminded the pedestrians to be very careful (even when you are overseas), like “Press to Time Travel”, “Press to Stop Time”, Press to Teleport”… her sarcasm can be a timely reminder that between us & the on coming traffic there is nothing else except the red light (practically means nothing to a drunk driver, a faulty brakes, a sleepy busdriver) to stop their vechicle from crashing into us while we attempt to cross the road in a manner as if we are crossing “our grandfather’s road” in singapore. :)”


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