Controversial Samsui Woman Mural to Remain, Owner Fined

Controversial Samsui Woman Mural to Remain, Owner Fined
Image via @seanpdunston/Instagram
  1. A mural of a Samsui woman has sparked a debate in Singapore.
  2. URA fined the building owner S$2,000 for the unauthorised mural.
  3. MOH voices concern over smoking depiction, but mural remains unchanged.

A poignant piece of art or a public health concern? A mural splits opinions in Singapore.

South Bridge Road’s Art in Question

A striking mural on South Bridge Road has become the talk of town, for better or for worse.

It portrays a Samsui woman with a cigarette, causing a stir among residents.

Some see it as a mere representation of heritage, while others sense an ad for smoking.

Both URA and MOH were brought into the discussion due to public sentiments.

Here are some key highlights to note:

  • The artwork was done without the URA’s approval.
  • URA and MOH decided the mural will stay as it is.
  • There’s a S$2,000 penalty for the building owner over conservation permission breach.

    Regulations on Heritage Conservation

    Following the controversy, the URA emphasised conservation guidelines for murals.

    “Owners of conserved buildings are reminded to obtain the relevant approvals before commencing any works. Failure to do so will result in enforcement against offenders, including prosecution for egregious cases,” the URA warns.

    The Samsui woman mural breach landed a S$2,000 fine for the building owner.

    Mural approval processes aim at reviewing cultural sensitivity and suitability.

    Take a look at this quick table for a clear overview:

    IssueOutcome
    Unauthorised MuralS$2,000 Fine
    Cultural SensitivityArt remains unchanged
    Public Health ConcernMural stays

    Public Reaction

    Public sentiment against the mural prompted a re-evaluation by the URA.

    However, many defended the mural, citing the historical accuracy of Samsui women smoking.

    The mural has opened a wider debate on art and cultural norms in Singapore.

    Despite differing views, the Samsui woman mural continues to be a heritage symbol on South Bridge Road, even as it highlights an issue of concern for public health advocacy groups.

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