This story was updated on November 15, 2021
Good news for KAWS supporters: the artist's KAWS:HOLIDAY exhibit in Singapore was just cleared to reopen to the public on November 16.
The installation — essentially an enormous version of KAWS' Companion figure — was supposed to be on display from November 13 to 21 at The Float @ Marina Bay with the full support of the Singapore Tourism Board.
Despite the government's initial support, 'KAWS:HOLIDAY' was slapped with a court order to shut down on its opening day.
The non-profit Ryan Foundation (TRF), operated by Singapore collectors Adrian Chan and Ryan Su, accused Hong Kong-based organizer AllRightsReserved (ARR) of pushing TRF aside to bring the 'KAWS:HOLIDAY' installation to Singapore.
According to a statement issued by Chan, TRF initially brought ARR and the Singaporean tourism board together in 2019 in a bid to bring 'KAWS:HOLIDAY' to the city.
Chan insisted that after TRF and ARR were unable to agree upon a partnership agreement, ARR sidestepped TRF and organized 'KAWS:HOLIDAY' itself, despite TRF's merchandise design ideas and introductions. The courts sided with TRF and issued an injunction to temporarily shut the show down.
"Our victory in court is for all the people who had worked tirelessly on the exhibition since 2019 and who share our purpose of making contemporary art accessible to people in Singapore," said Chan. "The injunction could have been averted if questions were raised and stakeholders consulted. This is truly a case of David & Goliath."
ARR called TRF's claims "groundless."
"Our company takes this incident very seriously and will take all possible steps to ensure that this exhibition can progress in accordance with the laws of Singapore," said ARR.
In his own statement, KAWS affirmed ARR's role in the 'KAWS:HOLIDAY' installation.
KAWS has "no contractual agreement" with TRF, whose "accusation is baseless," KAWS said in a statement.
The lawsuit didn't interrupt the all-important KAWS merch drop, though, which is basically the point of the 'KAWS:HOLIDAY' events, besides the photo opps.
ARR's DDT Store's website launched a trio of Companion figures, shirts, bamboo fans, and a set of collaborative Helinox seats (limited to 500 pieces) to commemorate the event, which has all since sold out.
Seemingly resolving last week's legal drama, ARR announced that the court has discharged TRF's injunction and will allow 'KAWS:HOLIDAY' to reopen on November 16. The exhibit will remain on view through the 21, as originally planned.
According to ARR, TRF has been ordered to pay all legal costs arising from the debacle.
"The Court further ordered that there will also be an inquiry into the damages sustained by AllRightsReserved by reason of the injunction," a post by ARR reads.
If you haven't had enough KAWS — between the Cactus Plant Flea Market merch, Fortnite collab, Nike Blazers, Human Made shirts, Reeses Puffs, and perfume — today's ruling is another win for the, well, cause.