KAWS: HOLIDAY Organisers Will Challenge Court Order, Say Accusations Of Breaches Are Baseless

KAWS: HOLIDAY Organisers ARR Say Court Order Allegations Are Baseless

Over the years, KAWS characters have become well-recognised and loved globally. Naturally, many were looking forward to KAWS: HOLIDAY Singapore at The Float @ Marina Bay.

However, one day the event was due to open, organisers received a court order to stop the exhibition.

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

This was on the grounds of a breach of property rights and breach of confidence.

KAWS: HOLIDAY organisers, AllRightsReserved (ARR), have since responded, saying the allegations made against them are “groundless”. They plan to challenge the court order.

TRF suing ARR for breaches

On Saturday (13 Nov), the 42m-long inflatable KAWS art installation was on display at The Float @ Marina Bay.


The event was to take place from 13-21 Nov, with the public opening held on Sunday (14 Nov).

However, KAWS: HOLIDAY was cut short when ARR received a court order to stop the exhibition.

They also needed to halt all sales and distribution of KAWS merchandise, advertising, and publicity.

According to The Straits Times (ST), a non-profit organisation, The Ryan Foundation (TRF), who was behind the court order, is now suing ARR.

TRF is accusing the Hong Kong-based creative studio, ARR, of a breach of confidence and intellectual property rights.

KAWS organisers say allegations are baseless

TRF founder Ryan Su was in talks with ARR to bring the exhibit to Singapore in 2019. However, the discussion eventually fell through, ST reported.

In a statement, ARR said the allegations made against them were groundless and that a 3rd party made them in an attempt to disrupt the exhibition.

ARR is now in the process of seeking urgent legal advice. They will be applying to court to challenge the prohibitory injunction order.

The company said that they take this incident very seriously and will take “all possible steps” to ensure the exhibition can go on under Singapore laws.

They also apologised for the inconvenience caused.

American artist and designer KAWS, whose real name is Brian Donnelly, said he has no contractual agreement with TRR and their accusations are baseless.

The artist said he was honoured to exhibit KAWS: HOLIDAY here, adding that the reception here has been overwhelmingly positive.

STB aware of the court injunction

KAWS: HOLIDAY Singapore is supported by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

KAWS organisers court orderSource

According to STB, the board is aware of the court injunction against ARR and understands they are exploring all options.

On Saturday (13 Nov), TRF director Adrian Chan said it is disappointing that various parties had known that confidential information and intellectual property rights, among other things, were at risk of being misused and continued to be involved in a project that exploits the Singapore arts scene.

He added that the injunction could have been avoided if questions had been raised and stakeholders consulted.

Hope dispute will come to an end soon

As of now, it is unclear if the organisers need to dismantle the exhibit. But as of Sunday (14 Nov) morning, the artwork remains on the floating platform.

The KAWS: Holiday showcase in Singapore was supposed to be its 7th stop after Seoul, Taipei, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK, and outer space.

Hopefully, all parties involved can settle the dispute soon and Singaporeans can enjoy the exhibit in due time.

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Featured image adapted from Kaws on Instagram and QHVentures on Facebook.

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