This along with the attention the issue was receiving online forced the authorities into action. I have no doubt that the online petition had a major part to play but lets also allow for the possibility that the images in the media had an effect.
Many people view graffiti as nothing other than a blot on the otherwise clean landscape. Others, myself included, feel that it can be an enhancement. When I see graffiti it reminds me that people actually live here. Someone else has summed it up better though.."Imagine a city where graffiti wasn't illegel, a city where everyone could draw where they liked. Where every street was awash with a million colours and little phrases. Where standing at a bus stop was never boring. A city that felt like a living breathing thing which belonged to everyone, not just the estate agents and barons of big business. Imagine a city like that and stop leaning against the wall - its wet."
Sitting in the UK the coming together of the NKF image and protest was brought into close focus by a programme focusing on the highly acclaimed work of Banksy. An example of one piece of work that will probably have the site blocked for subverting the minds of the heterosexual young men of Singapore is included here.
Singapore does have a few places that graffiti appears regularly, in fact I am thinking of one particular place just off Selegie Road, next to an Art and Design College, (you know who you are). The recent white elephants at an unopened MRT station is another example.
It doesn't have to be as stylised as Banksy's work, in fact look the example from American activists from FreeWay Bloggers....
It is a well researched area in my home country and a good place to start for any young sociologist would be the CAIN Web Service.
According to Neil Jarman "The intention of this paper is not to focus on the symbolic content of murals or the developments in their style and form, as this has been dealt with extensively elsewhere (Jarman 1992, 1996a, 1997; Roiston 1991, 1992, 1995a; Woods 1995). Rather I will discuss the ways in which the murals are used as symbolic objects in themselves. Objects which are used and abused, admired and transformed, replaced and defaced and which, while they ultimately physically disappear, will often survive as reproductions, and thereby transcend their context in time and place. "'Painting Landscapes: the place of murals in the symbolic construction of urban space' by Neil Jarman
Could actually be a rather good undergraduate or postgraduate study to conduct if applied to the Singaporean context. "Political Imagery in Singapore". You have got to start with the 'Men in White' of course.
According to FreeWay Blogger -
Here's how it works:
When you put a sign on the freeway people will read it until someone takes it down.
Depending on its size, content and placement it can be seen by hundreds of thousands of people.