The debate rumbles on.
While 46 per cent of respondents in a Yahoo! poll gave the thumbs up to Samantha Lo’s recent work on public roads as an example of good street art, another 39 per cent said the work was creative but done in the wrong space.
Just over 14.5 per cent felt that Lo’s work damaged public property and constituted vandalism.
A total of 7,561 people took part in the week-long Yahoo! poll which asked people to vote for whether they thought her street signs were a work of art or vandalism.
Last week’s arrest of Lo, a 25-year-old street artist who was charged for allegedly spray-painting the “My Grandfather’s Road” series of street signs and putting stickers at traffic light junctions, has sparked great debate online.
The former CHIJ Katong Convent student, who has since been released, founded online magazine RCGNTN in 2009 as a way to recognize local artists and talent. She was also a content curator for the National Art Gallery's Canvas project.
In a subsequent interview with The Straits Times, she said neither she nor RCGNTN were responsible for the stickers and road paint but she said she was touched and grateful by the support she has received.
A person who is convicted of vandalism shall be punished with a fine of up to S$2,000, or jailed up to three years and caning.
An online petition calling for authorities to reduce her charge of vandalism to a minor misdemeanor has garnered almost 15,000 names as of Wednesday afternoon.
However, others believe that even if her work was funny and creative, her work on public installations was against the law.
Yahoo! Singapore user, Peter, offered a solution, “I think best if the she is sentenced to do community work, i.e. promote the arts and some CWO (corrective work order). She can contribute her creativity while at same time, a light tap on her wrist.”
Another Yahoo! user E N W G questioned Singaporeans’ arguments that what she did was art, “Something is not right. MRT had graffiti drawn on and nobody say it was art but here with some written print we say it’s art?”
Alfie added that the case is really not so simple, “Vandalism is quite clear cut, if you paint on a wall that is not yours without permission it's vandalism. Art is more tricky, who can claim what is art and what is not art? Your trash may be my art and vice versa.”
The debate rumbles on.