Wednesday, June 06, 2012

The curious case of the Sticker Lady: Exercise discretion please

Dear Friends,
I wrote to the Mainstream Media's forum page for the authorities to exercise discretion in the case of the "Sticker Lady" who has been identified as S Lo. ( Printed in Straits Times  Forum here)
Let us hope the men in blue and their masters will lighten up and see the humour in all this.

Dr Huang Shoou Chyuan

Letter to the Editor

6th June 2012
Dear Editor,

I refer to the arrest of the 25 year-old woman who allegedly painted the words “My grandfather road” on several roads as well as affixed stickers printed with catchy captions at strategic locations such as pedestrian crossings. The latter action earned her the moniker of “the sticker lady” in cyberspace.

Although Singapore is well-known as a nation that does not tolerate vandalism eg Michael Fay case, I appeal for the authorities to exercise discretion in this case for the following reasons,

1. The stickers were creative attempts at humor that is sadly lacking in Singapore society. Frankly, how can anyone read “Press until shiok” or “Press once can already” and not laugh?
2. I do not know “the sticker lady” personally, but I do not think there is ill intention or that she was trying to instigate public disorder. Only the most paranoiac and insecure public official will draw such a conclusion.
3. If she is prosecuted to the full extent of the law, an unintended signal would be sent that there is no place in this little red dot for the unconventional and quirky and then we can truly forget about aspiring to be the Paris or New York of the East.

I would have thought that at most after interviewing her and confirming that she is indeed not part of any wider conspiracy to undermine Singapore’s security, she should be given a warning. Or perhaps MCYS, under acting Minister Chan Chun Seng, can liase with her and other like-minded creative Singaporeans to participate in the next street-art graffiti event.

A positive outcome is that we now know that there are indeed creative Singaporeans who just need an avenue (pun unintended) to express themselves. There is hope yet for Singapore’s art scene.

Dr Huang Shoou Chyuan


theonion said...

Good doctor

will you allow the same slogans and stickers be on your own home and practise, since you claim this is art.

to plead for leniency, i can understand, to not be dealt with on the law, where is the victim than.

for those of us who have to clean up after so called art

Anonymous said...

I totally agree. How can we twist the law because vandalism on society's face becomes another man's art? This is a slap on the faces of many designers and marketing professionals that have to work on limited budgets and express our talents within the limits of law.

How is it fine that she uses a marketing platform that she exploited and only pay a fine of $2000 to become famous and market her brand successfully? You really think many professionals have not thought of using such marketing tactics? This is an old marketing trick revived by someone willing to test the legal limits. I cannot believe an educated person such as yourself would condone the behavior and it takes an designer and artist such as myself to put things in real perspective.

I believe Dr, you should leave an address and do an open house and have the public create creative stickers and graffiti all over your lovely abode. I'll gladly show you how artistically talented my crew is.

Anonymous said...

Doctor, you are a learned person. Please go read up vandalism laws that are also strict and clear around the developed world (including America) before you speak up publicly. The issue is not about what is good or bad for our art scene. This is an issue if defacing public property is legal or not. There should be no grey areas in this, whether is creative or not.

It will save you a whole lot of embarrassment for condoning spray-painting on our roads.

SPRAYCAN said...

Only Singapore is well-known for not condoning graffiti vandalism?

California: Fines range from $1,000 to $50,000. Imprisonment can range from a short time in county jail to time in state prison.

Los Angeles: A first time vandalism offense with damage under $400 is generally charged as a misdemeanor and penalties include no jail time, restitution, fines, community service and three years of informal probation. If the damage is over $400 and you have a prior conviction for vandalism, you could be charged with a felony and may be facing county jail or state prison, formal probation, restitution, community service, hefty fines and in some instances, a one year driver's license suspension.

Australia: Vandals could spend up to two years behind bars or be slapped with fines of more than $26,000.

I wonder which country condones vandalism? Could you state some?

Anonymous said...

Some people just cannot distinguish between serious destructive vandalism vs artistic constructive street arts. They really need to get a life!

LIFFY said...

Are we to expect judges now to judge art to determine between vandalism and art? I thought that was left to art teachers, curators and art buyers?

Simply said. If its ALLOWED, its fine. If NO PERMISSION is GIVEN, its vandalism. Why do we even need to make this grey when it is clear as day?

The ongoing support looks more like a form of anti-establishment than a fight for artistic freedom. The art and creative scene is developing well with or without spray graffiti on public roads.

Push Grandmother said...

I can only imagine the judge on stand...

"hmm, this spray paint graphic on the side walk is rather attractive...ok fine..score 8.9, it looks good enough as art..release her!"

"Boy, that blue and yellow paint streak across the front door of the building isn't flattering at all, score 1.2...ok you go to jail and don't pass GO!"


Anonymous said...

This sticker lady seems to show no remorse and is basking in the limelight about how her "art" is not vandalism. Vandalism is NEVER promoted in any country. Most genuine street artists do it for the "kick" for doing something illegal and cover their tracks well. In this case, she actually advertised her "work" on her website. it is pretty obvious everything was "pre-planned" to extract maximum exposure and cheap fame. She is 25 years old, old enough to be responsible for her actions. A small fine is not sufficient. Short jail time is necessary to stop other young untalented "artists" from seeking such thrills and instant fame at the expense of taxpayer's money. And even the most talented artists of yore don't go around spray painting on public ROADS confusing road signs.

Anonymous said...

"How is it fine that she uses a marketing platform that she exploited and only pay a fine of $2000 to become famous and market her brand successfully? You really think many professionals have not thought of using such marketing tactics?"
Do I detect a tinge of jealousy from someone who does not have the guts to do what she does?

Anonymous said...

LOL. well i guess her marketing platform did work as i can see all of you guys are debating about her right now.

What i can say is that, this is not a serious crime. There is no need for a jail term, just a warning will do. Compare this to what ex chairman of Ren ci and NKF did. They are sentence to 8mth jail...I dont see why sticker girl have to be charge with 3yr jail term + $2k fine.

I wonder if this is the reason Singapore art stream stuck to the core and some of you can even call yourself "artists". Hiding behind some closet of yours, not daring enough to speak up.

Ask yourself, are you daring enough to do things she did?

Jealously is in the air.

WONDERgirl said...

How shallow to equate professionalism and respect for public property to jealousy and cowardice. It is a wonder how society is going to progress with people who cannot put things in real perspective and would rather twist things according to emotion rather than fact.

Looks like many of those who oppose this are open to have their homes spray painted with art. How about some of you leave your addresses like some have said above to start a movement showing your great support for this graffiti movement with your houses redecorated with paint.

The idea that she has guts is laughable. If she was gutsy enough to be caught, she would not be so traumatized without even being sentenced and should continue to be out voicing and advocating her right to do what she did. Seems like silence and conformity. So where is the guts actually?

Only so called "guts" I see are people ranting support online, petitioning online, rebutting lawful citizens online. We are not seeing more real gutsy reaction are we?

SPitBallz said...

The Charge is for the crime.

The sentence has not been met by the judge.

She has not been charged with 3 years and a 2k fine. It is only a range for sentencing for the type of crime she committed. So chill out man.

I agree the sentence should not be too tough and it could easily be a lower sentence, but the act is illegal and she deserves to be punished.

patriot said...

Many are understandably sympathetic to the Sticker Lady, she had done little or no irreparable damage. And her artistic expressions in painting and word are tastefully done and humourous. Me will even say they are educational. However, as many had rightly put it; an offence is an offence. She has to face the Laws, just hope that the Laws can be lenient in sentencing her. There can be compassion in punishment.


Anonymous said...

This is not about whether the lady's 'art' is good or bad, harmless or dangerous but rather respect for public property and others.

I find that some Singaporeans/residents have a habit of claiming public space as their own and this is especially evident in HDB blocks where residents would place their belongings in the common corridors, lift lobbies and staircase landings as if the space belongs to them, without regard to the safety, hygiene and convenience of others.

We need to change this attitude to be considered truly civilized.

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