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Kaws:Holiday exhibition’s organiser sues Singapore non-profit arts body for defamation

SINGAPORE — The Hong-Kong based organiser of last month's Kaws:Holiday Singapore exhibition at the Float@Marina Bay has started defamation proceedings against non-profit arts organisation The Ryan Foundation as well as its founders and directors.

The Kaws:Holiday Singapore exhibition at the Float@Marina Bay on display in November 2021.
The Kaws:Holiday Singapore exhibition at the Float@Marina Bay on display in November 2021.

SINGAPORE — The Hong-Kong based organiser of last month's Kaws:Holiday Singapore exhibition at the Float@Marina Bay has started defamation proceedings against non-profit arts organisation The Ryan Foundation as well as its founders and directors.

In a media statement on Tuesday (Dec 14), AllRightsReserved said that it had filed the proceedings in court against Mr Ryan Su and Mr Adrian Chan as well as the foundation.

This action was being taken over various “statements and publications” that were made against AllRightsReserved over the Kaws:Holiday exhibition, the firm said.

It added: “The statement of claim has been filed in the High Court.”

The exhibition — which features a 42m-long giant inflatable installation by American artist Kaws — was in Singapore on its seventh stop after tours in places such as Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan.

In response to TODAY’s queries, Mr Chan, who is the foundation's director, said that the respondents to the lawsuit are taking legal advice and “will respond at the appropriate time”.

In November, AllRightsReserved was forced to temporarily stop the exhibition — as well as the sale and distribution of merchandise related to it — one day before its scheduled opening on Nov 14. It was to be held from Nov 14 to 21.

This was after The Ryan Foundation had sued AllRightsReserved for an alleged breach of the foundation’s intellectual property rights as well as a breach of confidence. The foundation won a temporary injunction.

Hong Kong-based daily South China Morning Post reported that The Ryan Foundation had started discussions with AllRightsReserved in 2019 to exhibit the inflatable figures in Singapore.

It also reported that the foundation claimed to have introduced AllRightsReserved to Singapore government contacts and said that it came up with design ideas for the merchandise before the project was aborted.

Two days after the initial court order, AllRightsReserved said that the exhibition could go ahead as planned after the court lifted the injunction that had earlier prevented the art exhibition from going ahead.

AllRightsReserved said then that The Ryan Foundation would have to pay its legal costs.

In its statement on Tuesday, AllRightsReserved said that the exhibition was suspended for two days because of the injunction order.

It added: “Following the discharge of the said injunction, the district court further ordered… that there be an inquiry as to damages sustained by AllRightsReserved by reason of the interim injunction order, which (the firm) would shortly embark upon.” 

Related topics

allrightsreserved Kaws:Holiday The Float@Marina Bay court defamation lawsuit The Ryan Foundation

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