Hong Kong - Singapore performance artist Lee Wen is in hospital here after blacking out on Saturday evening in a university toilet and waking up with abrasions on his face.
A scan has found no blood clots, and he is being warded overnight for observation.
Speculation has been rife on Facebook that the artist was attacked after he expressed concern at an arts forum here about Tiananmen soldier-turned-artist Chen Guang. Chen was arrested by Beijing this month after he privately staged a work of performance art to commemorate the 1989 Tiananmen incident.
His gallerist Helina Chan of the iPreciation Gallery told The Straits Times early Sunday morning that Mr Lee could not recall if he indeed had been beaten up.
"He told us and the police that he went to the toilet, peed, blacked out and woke up half an hour later, and he had been hit on his eyes and head. But he could not say that someone had hit him. So we don't know what happened."
She added that since Mr Lee, who was suffering from Parkinson's disease and scoliosis, could not say if he had been hit, the police is unable to classify it as a criminal case.
The artist, 57, who was awarded the Cultural Medallion - Singapore's highest arts award - in 2005, is here for the Art Basel show.
The incident happened after an unscheduled stop by Mr Lee at the forum entitled Art and Value. He had met a speaker who invited him to attend. During the forum, Mr Lee rose to express concerns about Mr Chen, said Ms Chan based on what the artist had told her. It cannot be confirmed if he had indeed made certain remarks earlier attributed to him about China being a "lawless and violent" society and that "something's got to change".After that, Mr Lee was invited to dinner by some friends at the forum. He excused himself to go to the toilet, where the incident happened and he woke up 30 minutes later.
Police and ambulance were called and Mr Lee was sent to the Ruttonjee Hospital in Wan Chai. He has since been transferred to another hospital.
Ms Chan said that she asked Mr Lee why his friends did not look for him at the toilet during the time when he was missing, but he said he could not remember.
For now, she said, she wants to let him rest at the hospital. He is likely to be discharged on Sunday and they will return to Singapore on Monday.