Sticker Lady's arrest sparks outcry online

THE 25-year-old female street artist who was arrested for vandalism on Sunday is now out on police bail.

The artist, dubbed The Sticker Lady, is believed to be Samantha Lo, the founder of online magazine RCGNTN.

She is said to have sprayed the words "My Grandfather Road" on Maxwell Road and Robinson Road and pasted circular stickers at public spaces, including traffic-light junctions.

Yesterday, Nominated Member of Parliament Janice Koh posted a note on her Facebook page. She compared Lo's work to that of British street artist Banksy, who is well known for his graffiti, and hoped that "the authorities will deal with this case... with a light touch."

She said: "It is almost impossible to talk about developing a culturally vibrant, creative or loveable city, without some tolerance for those slightly messy activities that sometimes challenge the rules.

"For Singapore, it would be useful to make a distinction between this kind of art and outright graffiti or vandalism that seeks to deliberately destroy public property for its own sake."

Member of the National Solidarity Party (NSP) Nicole Seah also came out in support of Lo.

On her Facebook page, she wrote that Singapore "will never be able to achieve the state of a truly creative society if we continue to place these boundaries around ourselves."

She clarified that she is not supporting a "chaotic society", but called for acknowledgement that there needs to be a certain degree of tolerance for "organic, bottom-up creative activities" if the country is to progress as a cosmopolitan society.

She urged the authorities to refrain from severe penalty, and to treat such incidents that border on the artistic with a light touch.

Animal advocate Loretta Perera, 24, who went to secondary school with Lo, described her as a "creative person".

An online petition which called for the vandalism charge to be amended to one of public nuisance, and for such works to be recognised as art, has gone viral on social-networking sites.

On Twitter, British author Neil Gaiman reposted a Singaporean's tweet about Lo's arrest - at the man's request. Gaiman has about 1.7 million followers on the site.

Last evening, a tweet was posted by someone believed to be Lo. Made via the Twitter name, @samRCGNTN, it read: "Hi everyone, I am more than grateful for all the support and I am truly touched."

Some netizens have also taken the opportunity to exercise their entrepreneurial spirit by selling badges online, fashioned like Lo's stickers, for $2 each. It is not known if they are associated with the artist.

Others, like home-grown musician Inch Chua, are printing stickers of their own accord, in support of Lo. Chua said: "I'm not encouraging vandalism, but I've always loved her work and I respect her bravery."

tongjh@sph.com.sg

yamadak@sph.com.sg

Check out the works of Sticker Lady
Click on thumbnail to view (Photos: Internet, skl0.tumblr.com, ST, SPF, Kristen Han)


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