A Merlion in the bedroom

From ‘ Please, not in the bedroom’, 21 March 2011, My Point, ST Forum

(MR PATRICK MOK): ‘I am not at all comfortable with the idea of having a legendary icon like the Merlion confined in a bedroom. It is a national symbol and should be out there in the open for both residents and visitors to admire. We should treat the Merlion with respect.’


Not exactly 'in the jungle, the mighty jungle'

I hope someone dutifully changes the bedsheets, otherwise pray that the couple on the last day of this Biennale event do not come away from this one uproarious night with the national icon as an aphrodisiac backdrop with a lion’s share of rashes, crabs or scabies contracted from the unmentionable emissions of previous occupants. What could be more  symbolic than procreating under the benevolent, protective vigil of our magnificent chimera, what with boosting birth rates being the national agenda and all? In fact, this awkward structure that is the Merlion Hotel, crossing the boundaries of functional art, may actually protect our beloved icon from being abused by visitors, having been prone to free for all trampling orgies of late. One can only hope that occupants have the decency to take a dump in the tiny toilet with the door closed, provided that anyone even has the courage to do that in what is essentially a makeshift art installation. But other than that, hardcore patriots like Patrick should lighten up and tolerate what some people may deem serious art expressing something profound about national identity, but mostly a goofy exercise of exhibitionism and voyeurism to others.


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