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Singapore: Two performances cut from festival due to ‘excessive nudity’

8 December 2016


Two performances – Ming Poon’s ‘Undressing Room’ and Thea Fitz-James’ ‘Naked Ldies’ – were cut from the 2017 M1 Singapore Fringe Festival after the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) assessed they exceeded the R18 age rating, according to the festival’s statement released on 5 December 2016.

Festival organisers added that while the artists were willing to change their performance to fit the authority’s guidelines, the festival organisers decided to pull the shows as the amendments would “result in significant changes that will affect the original artistic intent”.

Anonymous members of the Facebook group “Singaporeans Defending Marriage and Family” also chimed in on the performances, calling them “obscene”, reported The Straits Times on 6 December 2016.


The performances explained
Poon’s performance is a “one-to-one performance where the performer and an audience-participant execute a ritual of undressing each other in total silence” and is done in private, without an audience. Fitz-James’ performance is a “lecture about the history of the naked female body”, which the artist delivers in the nude.

Festival organisers stated they didn’t believe the works to be “lewd” and that they had no “artistic intent to titillate”; rather, the performances made “deliberate attempts to distinguish nudity from sexual connotations”.

“Sadly, these works have been judged based on the preconception that nudity equates to pornography,” the statement read.

The festival ran from 4-15 January 2017 with the theme of “Art & Skin”.


Photo: M1 Singapore Fringe Festival Facebook page


Sources

» The Straits Times – 6 December 2016
M1 Singapore Fringe Festival: Taking on tough issues

» The Online Citizen – 6 December 2016
M1 Singapore Fringe Festival cancels two of its performance in light of IMDA’s assessment

» Channel NewsAsia – 5 December 2016
Two shows involving ’excessive nudity’ withdrawn from M1 Singapore Fringe Festival

» M1 Singapore Fringe Festival – 5 December 2016
Withdrawal of ’Undressing Room’ and ’Naked Ladies’

» The Straits Times – 26 November 2016
’Excessive nudity’ in 2 Fringe Fest shows exceeds R18 rating: IMDA


More from Freemuse

» 16 March 2016: Singapore: Two sex toys removed from exhibition

» 1 December 2015: Singapore: Arts council to withdraw funding of ‘offensive arts’, says chairman

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