Otters ignore court-ordered halt to admire KAWS:Holiday exhibition at Marina Bay

The exhibition would have opened to the public on Nov. 14.

Andrew Koay | November 14, 2021, 01:01 PM

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While humans are currently unable to attend the KAWS:Holiday exhibition at Marina Bay, no court of law could restrain a family of Singapore natives from admiring the larger than life artwork.

Images sent in by Mothership reader Adya Paramitta on Nov. 14 showed a romp of otters taking in the gigantic reclining figure at the Floating Platform.

It is unclear whether the otters, who clearly have a taste for pop-art installations, were invited as VIPs or whether they are brazenly ignoring a court injunction that brought the exhibition to a halt on Saturday, Nov. 13.

Perhaps afraid of pushing their luck too far, the otters seemed to maintain a respectful distance from the actual KAWS figure.

Video by Adya Paramitta

Alleged to have breached intellectual property rights

Lianhe Zaobao reported that the injunction was obtained by local non-profit organisation The Ryan Foundation (TRF), which accused the organiser, Hong Kong-based creative agency AllRightsReserved (ARR), of breaching intellectual property rights and misuse of confidential information.

The conflict stems from TRF founder Ryan Su's claim that he had previously gone to Hong Kong in 2019 to discuss with ARR the possibility of holding the exhibition in Singapore, and had handed over certain contents and details, even contacting other units that might be taking part in the organisation, including Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

While the negotiations later broke down, Su alleges that the contents of the exhibition today are similar to what TRF sent over in the past.

Organiser refutes allegations

Replying to Mothership’s queries, Hong Kong-based creative agency ARR said that the allegations made were groundless, and that they are in the process of seeking legal advice.

“In relation to the recent groundless allegations made by a third party who attempted to cause interruption to the KAWS:HOLIDAY SINGAPORE exhibition, our company is in the process of seeking urgent legal advice and will apply to court to challenge the prohibitory injunction order.

Our company takes this incident very seriously and will take all possible steps to ensure that this exhibition can progress in accordance with the laws of Singapore. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

STB says that they are “aware of the court injunction against AllRightsReserved (ARR), and we understand the organisers are exploring all options”.

KAWS: Holiday was supposed to be on display at The Float @ Marina Bay from Nov. 13 to Nov. 21.

The exhibition, which was supported by STB, opened to VIPs on Nov. 13, and would have opened to the public on Nov. 14.

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Top image from Adya Paramitta