Almost a third of an art installation that was displayed in public has gone missing after the opening of this year's Singapore Night Festival last weekend.
Artist Karen Mitchell, who will not be replacing the 114 missing pieces as she does not have the time or the budget, made an appeal yesterday on her Facebook page for the pieces to be returned.
"When any one piece is removed, it deprives others of enjoying the experience of interacting with this installation fully," she wrote.
Her installation, called Everyday Aspirations, was set up along the alley between The Substation and the Peranakan Museum. It was made up of 365 pieces of "words of aspirations", such as "laugh" and "smile".
The artwork involves small wooden panels with words cut into them using a laser. The pieces, stretched across a space 14m long, are used to cast shadows of these words onto a wall. The different shadows overlap one another, "to represent the shared aspirations of everyone", she said.
"Each word played a very important part in this artwork, and they belong to the artist."
Netizen Hong Weng posted on Ms Mitchell's Facebook page that the fact that pieces are missing suggests that her art is " sought after".
But the 39-year-old Singaporean artist replied: "I am happy that they liked it, but if they want to own part of it, (they) can contact me or ask me.
"I think sometimes people forget that artists have to spend money and time to make their art."
In an earlier post, she commented: "(If the pieces go) missing on the last day, ok lah, but there are two more sessions to display (the artwork) and already one-third is gone. Hope it will be better next week."
Festival director Angelita Teo hopes those who may have taken the pieces unknowingly will return them.
She said: "The Singapore Night Festival would not be successful without the contributions of these artists. We hope that members of the public are able to respect the integrity and nature of these artists and their works so that everyone will be able to enjoy them."
The Singapore Night Festival continues on Friday and Saturday, which is the last day.
Close to 80 free events, including dance performances and film screenings, have been lined up for the entire festival, which opens from 7pm to 2am.