Can art be a crime? #freestickerlady

On Tuesday, reports about the Singapore police arresting a 25-year-old “vandal” trended on Twitter and my Facebook wall. I’m not sure what the exact cause of arrest was, I think she was taken in for spray painting “MY GRANDFATHER BUILDING” on a pristine white wall and “MY GRANDFATHER ROAD” on a pristine gray asphalt.

Her works can be seen on Tumblr.

Besides spray painting, she was believed to have pasted stickers at on top of the button of pedestrian crossing lights. I find the stickers whimsical, something Zooey Deschanel would do after she checks the directions with Siri:

in Singapore

According to the Singapore Vandalism Act, enacted in 1966, those who are found guilty of vandalism “shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years, and shall also, subject to sections 325(1) and 330(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code 2010, be punished with caning with not less than 3 strokes and not more than 8 strokes”. (TL;DR version.)

It’s strange that we’re still using a law enacted in 1966 for the arrest. Back then, gloves were still a hit among the ladies.

Street art overseas

Discussing this with D, she said the point of argument should focus on “how art cannot be a crime?”

I remember being impressed by graffiti during my travels so I scoured my photo collection for some street art/acts of vandalism.

In Nantes, this caught my attention because of Darth Vader and Little Miss Vadar.

in Nantes

Make love, not arrests.

in Barcelona

The city of Yogyakarta is famous for its graffiti.

in Yogyakarta
in Yogyakarta

The Mission in San Francisco is famous for its murals. There’s even an app for that.

in San Francisco
in San Francisco

I suspect the graffiti in KL were city-sanctioned and even sponsored by a paint company.

in KL

I hope Sticker Lady would be given a lighter sentence instead of prison time.

More about Liau Yun Qing

Yun Qing is a writer, improviser and curious person. She loves finding little adventures in life. In 2013, she went on a 130-day round-the-world trip. She wrote a book to help those who also want to go on a career break.

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