Award-winning artist Jing Quek’s latest work, a mural at the Downtown Line Station in Tampines West, unexpectedly received a lot of attention online this week due to its title, “Welcome to Jingapore.”
Netizens have been sharing photos of the plaque accompanying the mural, calling attention to the title as a misspelling of “Singapore.”
However, Quek has said in a Facebook post dated November 8 that the spelling of the title of his artwork was indeed intentional, and is actually a pun. He has been using the word “Jingapore,” a combination of ‘Singapore” and Jing’s own name, since as far back as 2011. The artists asked people on line to not get “too outraged” over this pun. The title “Jingapore” shows the country through the artist’s eyes.
Singapore’s Land Transit Authority has since taken away Quek’s mural’s signboards, and are currently in talks with the artists regarding the artwork and its title.
Many netizens, however, are not taking too kindly to the idea of “Jingapore,” regarding it to be disrespectful, maybe even abusive, to the country.
Others defended Quek’s creativity, even going so far as explaining of relevance of the title.
Yet others were concerned that the title would be easily misunderstood as a misspelled word, saying that if the artist intended for the title to be a pun, then he should have made that very clear.
Still, others called on other netizens to simply loosen up.