Stolen art pieces paint ugly picture of society

Stolen art pieces paint ugly picture of society
Artist Karen Mitchell's installation featured 365 wooden panels with words such as "smile" and "laugh" cut into them.

SINGAPORE - I was disappointed to find out that people would actually steal pieces of an artwork at the Singapore Night Festival ("More words of art go missing"; Sept 2).

The installation by artist Karen Mitchell featured 365 wooden panels that were supposed to represent the shared aspirations of everyone.

Why would anyone want to remove an artistic installation that was supposed to inspire people?

Removing the panels is akin to downloading licensed content from the Internet without permission from the author; it is theft and a clear sign of disrespect to the creator. It also showcases the dissolute side of people; what would foreigners think of our society?

Perhaps the 188 panels went missing because they were not affixed onto any permanent structure.

I suggest that surveillance be implemented in future for such installations, either in the form of closed-circuit television cameras or the presence of staff.

While some modifications can be done to prevent theft, such as by attaching art installations to permanent structures, changing the public mindset is equally important.

Active interaction with artistic elements does not grant one the licence to remove them.

Aw Yang Kang Ming


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