(UPDATE on 3 November, 3:33pm: Adding statement from Changi Airport and eyewitness account.)
Pictures and video footage of an unidentified woman grabbing at part of the "Kinetic Rain" installation were circulating social media on Saturday and Sunday.
The woman, who was wearing a white dress, appeared to have climbed over the railing at Changi Airport Terminal 1 and onto a metallic safety netting below part of the installation, where she is pictured in a series of photographs grabbing bunches of the metallic "raindrops".
A video on Facebook also shows the woman climbing back out and over the railing, with one "raindrop" in hand. A guard is also seen in the video asking her to reach out her hand to him so he can pull her back up.
When Yahoo Singapore visited the scene at Terminal 1 on Sunday afternoon, the affected installation was
found to be tangled up, while the movement of other portion of the artwork was turned off. Glass droplets littered the ground and the area was cordoned off.
Eyewitness Doreen Teo, who snapped and uploaded the pictures of the woman onto Facebook, told Yahoo Singapore the woman had already climbed over the railing and was under the installation by the time she had arrived at the scene.
Teo, who was at the airport to send her mother off on a trip, said the woman had a "blur" and listless expression on her face, and was ignoring the calls of customer service staff and airport security.
"Initially I thought she was performing or doing some kind of stunt there," said Teo, explaining why she, alongside crowds of others who were already there, pulled out her phone to snap a couple of pictures. "After that, I noticed staff calling out to her, and police officers started chasing us away to one side."
Teo said the woman repeatedly pulled at the "raindrops", successfully snapping one from its strings and tying it onto one of her hands. She then recounted her precarious crawl from the metal netting and across a thin metal wire to the railing on the other side, where the airport security and customer service staff were.
"People were telling her to stop and don't move, but she ignored them and walked over. She also refused help from the police standing there, but got help from another person. She didn't want to hold the policewoman's hand," said Teo.
"The whole time she looked like she was on some sort of medication — she just looked very blur," Teo added, noting that when she finally spoke in response to questions from airport staff, she did not respond in English.
Repairs planned for installation
When contacted by Yahoo Singapore, a Changi Airport spokesperson said, "The Kinetic Rain sculpture at Terminal 1 was damaged by a member of public yesterday. We have referred the matter to the police and our engineers are arranging for the sculpture to be repaired."
A police spokesperson said that police received a call at about 8:28am on 2 November for assistance at "a building along Airport Boulevard". He said, "Upon police arrival, a woman in her 30s was arrested under the Mental Health Act." He added that investigations are ongoing.
First erected in July last year by German design house Art+Com, the "Kinetic Rain" sculpture consists of two segments which use 1,216 aluminum droplets coated in bronze, individually attached to motors located in the ceiling.
The droplets transform into various shapes by moving up and down, and the patterns are controlled by a special custom software.
Here's what it is supposed to look like:
Additional reporting by Elizabeth Soh