Artist did not have a permit

SINGAPORE- An art installation that uses reproductions of $2, $5, $10 and $50 notes is being taken down because it breached Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) guidelines.

The 53 metre-long installation, named Prosperity Tunnel, was commissioned by Jurong Point and created by Mr Casey Chen, 42.

It is located along the underground walk link between Jurong Point and Boon Lay Bus Interchange and was slated to run until Feb 28.

It is made using wallpaper and stickers printed with images of currency notes. The notes are not exact copies as each is about 30 per cent larger than an actual note and has the word "specimen" printed in red .

The New Paper understands that on Monday, MAS contacted Jurong Point after receiving feedback from the public regarding the artwork.

When contacted, MAS referred us to its website which stated that approval must be sought and a permit is required for any reproduction.

Also, among other conditions, the reproduction's length and width must be enlarged to at least 150 per cent or reduced to 60 per cent or less of a genuine currency note.

Those who break the law can be fined $2,000 and/or jailed for three months.

Mr Chen did not apply for a permit. He said: "I was not aware that I had to. I thought it was enough to print the word 'specimen' on each reproduction.

"I accept I will have to adjust my design. In hindsight, I should have done more research on the guidelines."

Ms Lynette Lee, senior marketing communications manager at Jurong Point, said: "We saw an opportunity to turn the art walk into a prosperity tunnel where we hope good fortune will rub off on our shoppers.

"We trusted that Mr Chen would carry out the necessary research and would have taken the necessary measures to ensure everything is in order."

Mr Chen said the idea was to make people feel happy and prosperous.


"I want everyone walking through this tunnel to feel like a millionaire. Through this installation, I wish to call out to viewers' attention on how we use money and examine the details we see in money," said Mr Chen, who began putting up the installation two weeks ago.

Feedback on the installation has been positive, he said. "I've seen many people walk out of the tunnel smiling.

"Some even thanked me for brightening up their day."

But he said someone had vandalised the artwork over the weekend, removing a 30cm by 30cm portion from it.

Photographer Ivan Loh, 43, who walked through the tunnel last Sunday, said: "Anybody who thinks it's real money is probably not in their right mind.

"The 'money' is pasted on the walls and ceilings - this is clearly an art installation."

I was not aware that I had to. I thought it was enough to print the word 'specimen' on each reproduction.

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