Allow amateur HDB artists to submit designs for art installations

I applaud retiree Or Beng Kooi for his painstaking effort to improve the common area of his block in Yishun so residents can enjoy art and mingle ('Artistic' tower of items at HDB void deck trashed; March 2).

However, residents have always been advised not to stack too much of their belongings like furniture along the corridor outside their flats, as it not only poses a fire hazard, but may also hamper rescue efforts in an emergency.

The same considerations should apply to the void deck and other common areas.

Even though some people saw merit in Mr Or's art installations, artwork by amateurs without formal training tend to be random and haphazard in form and arrangement, and in many cases, make the place look untidy instead.

In contrast, art installations and paintings by artists on prominent display at public places like the National Heart Centre are more pleasing and tidy-looking.

This is not to say that enthusiastic amateurs should not be given leeway to try their hand at beautifying their immediate common environment.

Perhaps, to make it more official, the authorities, like town councils, could set up a scheme where interested people could send in blueprints of their artwork designs and have these plans approved first.

There is value in such a scheme, as it would instil an enhanced sense of neighbourliness, belonging and personal responsibility to upkeep common areas, and that might reduce littering in these places.

Lee Kay Yan (Miss)