KAWS: HOLIDAY In Marina Bay Shut Down By Court Order 1 Day Before Public Opening

Organisers Of KAWS: HOLIDAY Accused Of Intellectual Property Rights Violations

Having graced cities worldwide, an iconic giant sculpture by Kaws had finally arrived in Singapore, going up at The Float @ Marina Bay on Saturday (13 Nov).

Unfortunately, KAWS: HOLIDAY Singapore proved to be short-lived as a court order shut down the exhibition on the same day.


Most Singaporeans didn’t even get to go near it, as it wasn’t supposed to be open to the public until the next day.

Holiday cut short

KAWS: HOLIDAY was scheduled to be held at the floating platform for just 9 days from 13-21 Nov.

However, it would’ve opened to the public only on Sunday (14 Nov).

The holiday was cut short when Hong Kong-based organisers AllRightsReserved (ARR) received a court order at 4.45pm on Saturday (13 Nov), according to Lianhe Zaobao.

It prohibited the exhibition from taking place.

Sculpture still up on Sat evening

When MS News visited Marina Bay at about 6pm on Saturday, the inflatable sculpture was still up.

Though the platform was closed to the public, guests and other people were milling around the giant installation.

Members of the public were also taking photos of it from afar.

It’s uncertain when or if the sculpture will be deflated.

Singapore arts group behind the court order

Singapore non-profit arts group The Ryan Foundation (TRF) was behind the court order, Lianhe Zaobao reported.

They told the newspaper that they’d gone to Hong Kong in 2019 to discuss the possibility of putting up a KAWS installation in Singapore.

During this visit, they submitted content and details of the exhibition to ARR, including contact details of the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and other potential collaborators.

Organisers accused of intellectual property rights violations

The discussions didn’t come to a conclusion, but ARR is now holding KAWS: HOLIDAY in Singapore with the same content they submitted, TRF told Lianhe Zaobao.

TRF thus accused ARR of violating their intellectual property rights and abusing the confidential information the 2 parties had discussed in the past.

Therefore, as a matter of principle, they must stop the exhibition from being held.

TRF founder Ryan Su said this might be the 1st time such an exhibition has been stopped by a court injunction in Singapore.

He hopes that the public will eventually have a chance to see the installation, adding that art is meant to be shared.

Merchandise sale also ordered to stop

Those who were at least looking forward to getting their hands on some Singapore-exclusive merchandise may also have their hopes dashed.

The court order also orders the sale and distribution of merchandise relevant to the event to be stopped.

kaws holiday singapore merchSource

All advertising and publicity for KAWS: HOLIDAY must also cease.

42m-long sculpture created by US artist

The 42m-long inflatable sculpture was created by American artist and designer Kaws – or Brian Donnell – who began his career with his signature characters and motifs in the 1990s.

He’s amassed a following of 3.6 million on Instagram, and his most distinctive character is Kaws’ Companion – a greyscale doll with crosses for eyes.

You may also have come across the artist’s highly-raved Uniqlo x KAWS: Summer UT collection, which caused brawls in China.

KAWS: HOLIDAY was supposed to be the last event held at the floating platform before it closes for redevelopment in 2022.


A disappointing development

It must be disappointing that this long-awaited event has been stopped.

This is especially since this happened just a day before finally opening to the public.

Let’s hope the dispute can be resolved soon and the exhibition can reopen in Singapore one day.

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Featured image adapted from KAWS on Instagram and by MS News.

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