[Press Statement:] Tan Kwank Liang's Media Invitation to Bonfire at Telok Kurau Studios

 

Press Statement

 

We regret to learn of Tan Kwank Liang's intention of setting a bonfire at the Telok Kurau Studios on15 April 2008 in response to non-renewal of his tenancy.

 

The Telok Kurau Studios is an arts housing facility managed by the National Arts Council. It was developed with public money to provide spaces for artists for the purposes of content creation, outreach and other administrative use. The rentals are heavily subsidised by NAC.  As this is a public property funded by taxpayers' money, tenants are required to make full, effective use of their studio space and abide by all regulations.

 

The decision not to renew Tan's tenancy was based on his poor usage of the studio and his non-compliance with regulations. He was offered the studio in 2002 but NAC's annual assessments revealed that the studio was grossly under utilised. Initially, NAC accepted his explanation of doing research work in China, and renewed his tenancy. However, the studio continued to be under utilised, while there was a long waiting list of artists in need of the facilities. In addition, Tan failed to comply with the tenancy condition to submit his activity report, despite numerous reminders, and also owed the Telok Kurau Studios Management Committee 8 months of miscellaneous fees. On 30 January 2007, Tan was informed that his tenancy would not be renewed and given one month's grace to vacate the space. Subsequently, NAC communicated with Tan and extended the grace period several times, the final deadline being 28 Sep 2007. Regrettably, Tan had refused to do so and NAC had to seek legal assistance to re-possess the studio.

 

NAC did not approve Tan’s proposed bonfire at Telok Kurau Studios as it would be potentially hazardous and cause damage to the premises. We have advised him on 11 April 2008 not to proceed and that such an act on his part would be illegal and contrary to law and public safety.

 

We have also asked Tan to confirm in writing, by 12 noon 14 April 2008, that he will not proceed with the bonfire. As we did not receive a favourable reply from him, the Council has applied for an injunction to restrain him from carrying out his proposed act.

 

For media enquiries, please contact:

 

Ms Sophia LOKE, Corporate Communications Manager

DID: 6837 9506 | Mobile: 9879 2244 | Email: Sophia_LOKE@nac.gov.sg

 

Ms CHIA I-Ling, Assistant Director, Corporate Communications

DID: 6837 9729 | Mobile: 9755 9389 | E-mail: CHIA_I-ling@nac.gov.sg