More words of art go missing despite media reports, artist's appeal

A screengrab of the Facebook appeal by artist Karen Mitchell to return missing pieces of her art installation. -- PHOTO: FACEBOOK
A screengrab of the Facebook appeal by artist Karen Mitchell to return missing pieces of her art installation. -- PHOTO: FACEBOOK

More pieces of an artwork at the Singapore Night Festival have gone missing over the weekend, despite media reports and the artist's appeal for their return.

Singaporean artist Karen Mitchell posted on her Facebook page after the festival ended last Saturday that a total of 188 pieces were removed from her exhibit, leaving behind 177 pieces.

The Straits Times had reported last Tuesday that 114 pieces were stolen after the first two days of the event that began on Aug 23.

Ms Mitchell, 39, also made an appeal online last Monday for them to be returned.

Her 14m installation, called Everyday Aspirations, had 365 small wooden panels with words like "love" laser-cut into them. It was set up along the alley between The Substation and the Peranakan Museum, where shadows of the different words were cast onto a wall.

When The Straits Times visited the installation last Friday at around 9pm, at least three people were seen removing the wooden panels and walking off with them. Since then, only one piece with the word "dreams" has been returned to her, but the same piece is missing again.

When contacted yesterday, Ms Mitchell said: "Despite the shrinking in size of the artwork, the work itself did not lose its charm and I am glad to see people enjoying the artwork.

"I would like to quote what one of my friends told me when this thing happened - 'Your work brought people together: those who remove, and those who wish to restore'."

Said The Substation's artistic director Noor Effendy Ibrahim: "We are happy that so many members of the public enjoyed the work, but are a little disappointed that more words went missing over the second weekend despite the artist's appeal."

A spokesman for The Substation added that future indoor and outdoor installations at the centre would continue to abide by artists' "preferences" and how they want their art to be displayed.

ateng@sph.com.sg