Recently, a sticky issue got Singapore divided about whether the words “My Grandfather Road” or “My Grandfather Building” spray painted onto roads and buildings while black round stickers with quirky quotes were stuck on traffic light buttons all over our little red dot constituted art or vandalism.
The woman behind this controversial act of artistic expression was caught and charged under Section 2 of the Vandalism Act for public property, a conviction that carries a maximum fine of S$2,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 3 years.
Perhaps due to the sticker messages resonating with the hearts of Singaporeans, her arrest set off a furore of criticisms online about the Singapore governement’s hard-handedness at dealing with the matter. A petition was created to gather signatures for the Sticker Lady (as she’s been nicknamed) to be pardon and My Grandfather this and My Grandfather that became a new catchphrase with the circular stickers popping up overnight like a black rash over the worldwide web.
So, what about me? What do I think? Is it celebrated creativity or punishable wilfulness?
Well, what do you think of the 2 sticker messages here? Are they just purely statements or declarations bordering on profanity? I guess my point is, modern art is always open to interpretation as what’s beauty no longer meant what looks attractive visually but how an expression connects with us.
I am neither for nor against what the artist did. I just think that when weather wears out those stickers on our traffic lights, how unsightly and a mess those defaced stickers will look then.
And also, where were the voices to support creativity in the case of Oliver Fricker, a Swiss who was given 3 strokes of the cane and incarcerated for 5 months when he vandalised a MRT carriage? What about the outcry over SingPost who painted their post boxes with graffiti art two years ago? SingPost had to apologise for pulling that publicity stunt.
And if Singaporeans are so passionate about art, why is the annual Singapore Arts Festival taking a break next year? A case where nobody cares when it’s staged? Perhaps they should try vandalism to attract eyeballs. Heh heh.
Thanks for reading this vandalism on the cyberspace.