What a whirlwind few days it's been for the highly-anticipated, and then quickly shut-down Kaws:Holiday exhibition in Singapore.
This evening, after hearing arguments from the AllRightsReserved legal team, the court discharged the injunction and ordered The Ryan Foundation to pay legal costs to AllRightsReserved. The Court further ordered that there will be an inquiry into the damages sustained by AllRightsReserved by reason of the injunction.
As a result, the Kaws:Holiday exhibition will reopen to the public tomorrow.
During Saturday afternoon's VIP preview, it was abruptly announced that the Kaws:Holiday exhibition—which features a monumental inflatable sculpture of Kaws' iconic Companion at The Float at Marina Bay—had been ordered by the Singapore court to stop.
The reason? The Ryan Foundation, a non-profit arts organisation, filed an interim injunction citing various reasons such as intellectual property rights infringement and misuse of confidential information.
In Case You Missed It: Kaws: Holiday in Singapore: Everything You Need to Know About the Ongoing Drama
Kaws:Holiday has been an ongoing collaboration since 2018 between New York-based artist, Kaws (real name Brian Donnelly), and Hong Kong-based creative agency, AllRightsReserved, founded by SK Lam. Since then, the duo has taken the exhibition to South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, the English countryside and even to outer space.
After news broke of the Kaws:Holiday closure, angry Singaporeans, who had been looking forward to the exhibition, quickly took to social media to condemn The Ryan Foundation for shutting down the city's first major public art exhibition since the beginning of the pandemic.
In response to Monday evening's legal victory and the reopening of the exhibition, AllRightsReserved released a statement after keeping mum throughout the saga.
"The response at every stop has been overwhelmingly positive. We thank everyone for their love and support, as this is what the creator of Kaws:Holiday, internationally renowned artist Brian Donnelly, hopes for: to give more people access to art," AllRightsReserved representatives said. "Even under the pandemic’s gloom, [we] fought every obstacle to bring Kaws:Holiday to its seventh stop, Singapore."
They also stated that, having toured in various countries, Kaws:Holiday "is like a door to inclusiveness—it lets people from different backgrounds see his artworks. When our exhibition was forced to shut its doors, we felt wronged and frustrated, as the gate to these valuable exchanges had been shut. This is not what our company, or the world, would like to see.Fortunately, the Court’s judgement allows the exhibition to be reopened tomorrow. Our company hopes that people can relieve their burdens under the pandemic and relax on the shores of the beautiful Marina Bay."
In a less formal, albeit no less poignant, response, Kaws took to his Instagram stories to post a cheeky response to the news, recruiting Singapore's favourite furry ambassador to get his message across.