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Nov 13 2021

Singapore Court Blocks KAWS Exhibition

by ArtAsiaPacific

The Float at Marina Bay, Singapore, where KAWS’s 42-meter inflatable sculpture was due to be launched on November 13.

On November 13, a court in Singapore blocked an exhibition of the iconic cartoon artist KAWS from opening at The Float at Marina Bay. Titled “KAWS: HOLIDAYSINGAPORE,” the show was scheduled to open today and run through November 21, and was to feature the 42-meter inflatable sculpture of the figure known as Companion. The project was supported by the Singapore Tourism Board.

The Ryan Foundation (TRF), a nonprofit arts group in Singapore founded by the collector Ryan Su in 2012, had asked a court for an injunction against the exhibition’s organizers, Allrightsreserved Limited, for breaching TRF’s intellectual property rights and misuse of confidential information.

In a statement, Adrian Chan, director of TRF stated: “Our victory in court is for all the people who had worked tirelessly on the exhibition since 2019 and who share our purpose of making contemporary art accessible to people in Singapore. It is disappointing that various parties had known that confidential information and intellectual property rights, among other things, were at risk of being misused and still continue to be involved in a project that exploits home-grown stakeholders in the Singapore arts landscape. The injunction could have been averted if questions were raised and stakeholders consulted. This is truly a case of David & Goliath.”

Merchandise from the exhibition was due to be sold at the DDT Store, Allrightsreserved Limited’s “virtual emporium.” The court also ordered advertising about the exhibition to be removed or taken down.

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