Singapore nonprofit settles Kaws show dispute, apologizes for ‘embarrassment’ caused

The Kaws:Holiday Singapore exhibition at The Float @ Marina Bay. Photo: Luke Goh
The Kaws:Holiday Singapore exhibition at The Float @ Marina Bay. Photo: Luke Goh

The messy legal blow up centering an art exhibition that abruptly burst into public view last year has finally been concluded.

Hong Kong-based organizer AllRightsReserved (ARR) today said the drama involving the Kaws:Holiday Singapore exhibition at The Float @ Marina Bay in November has been settled with local art nonprofit The Ryan Foundation, who they sued for defamation in response to claims that the show violated intellectual property rights and confidentiality. 

“ARR is glad that the disputes are now satisfactorily resolved,” AllRightsReserved wrote in a news release.

The giant 42-meter inflatable art installation showcasing the signature Companion character by American artist Brian Donnelly, aka Kaws, had to be shut for the first two of its eight-day run after The Ryan Foundation obtained an interim injunction to stop the event. 

READ: Kaws show gets court OK to resume in Singapore amid legal blow up

Nonprofit Founder Ryan Su said this came after his team had previously been negotiating to bring the same exhibition to Singapore in 2019 but it didn’t work out. He did not elaborate further.

The court later vacated the injunction order and the show went on for the rest of the run but ARR retaliated by suing the nonprofit for defamation and sought damages for the two days it was forced to close.

ARR today also attached a statement signed on Friday by the nonprofit to apologize for inflating accusations and admit that it was false. They also apologized for the embarrassment and distress caused.

Putting the matter to rest, ARR said they wish to bring more exhibitions to Singapore soon.

“We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and colossal support for the Exhibition from the most affectionate Singaporeans. We hope to return to the city and meet you all very soon,” ARR said.

After this story was published, it appears that there was no bad blood as The Ryan Foundation extended well wishes to ARR in a statement and announced that they will also be bringing in new exhibitions next year.

“By extending an olive branch, we wish ARR the very best,” the nonprofit told Coconuts today.

Update: This story has been updated with a statement from The Ryan Foundation.

RELATED – Kaws show organizers sue Singapore nonprofit for defamation

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