IT’S not always easy being an Experience Maker. Sometimes not everyone shares your vision, as businessman Cheong Boo Wee discovered when he tried to turn his Singapore home into something of a theme park.
“I wanted to create an attraction in the neighbourhood,” he told the Shin Min Daily News after being ordered to remove the statues of animals and cartoon characters he had placed around his semi-detached house.
“I wanted to create a kampung spirit, and let everyone revel in it. The neighbours nearby could gather every night to chat and catch up.”
The neighbours, in fact, seemed to enjoy the experience, which included statues of a rhinoceros, a cow, monkeys, a tortoise and cartoon characters from the Batman and Green Lantern stories designed to attract a younger visitor.
One of Mr Cheong’s supporters included nearby resident Qiang Deming, 77.
“It makes the neighbourhood more interesting and it is an attractive sight,” he said.
Another householder told the newspaper that the installation brought life to the neighbourhood and that visitors and even the occasional tourist would come to catch a glimpse on weekends.
Alas for Mr Cheong, 53, he has been ordered to remove the installations despite having spent around $150,000 (£126,000) on the project which started as part of a 2014 Community in Bloom programme.
He has lived in the property for more than 25 years.
Online comments on the article suggest a dispute with a local dignitary on a completely different issue led to the complaint and the order from the council.