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Undressing Room

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Participant 17: Anonymous
(Completed on 21st January 2017, Singapore)

1) Why do you choose to be anonymous in this documentation?

2) What were your thoughts and feelings when you first read about Undressing Room?
The thought that I could possibly relate to the ideas that Undressing Room seeks to address. Beyond dressing to impress, our clothes are also a shield between us and the outside world and I wanted to confront the feeling of having that shield removed and having our most vulnerable state being laid bare. I felt that it would have been a unique experience and that it really embodies what the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival is all about.

3) Describe your experience of Undressing Room.
There’s not much for me to say about the 1st room and the briefing, but I did feel a sense of trepidation upon entering the 2nd room. Upon leaving the 3rd room, I felt a sense of zen of a sort.

4) What was it like for you, being a participant in Undressing Room?
It was certainly challenging at certain points but it was definitely rewarding. For me, the most challenging was the non-verbal communication at the beginning of the work. I have never really been comfortable with keeping too long an eye contact with anyone and so that part was actually rather difficult for me. Also, as an introvert, that kind of intense non-verbal interaction was rather disconcerting. However, that feeling faded away after the undressing began and it became a bit easier.

5) How was it for you to undress each other and touch each other’s naked skin?
It was a bit frightening at first, especially since undressing someone else is an act of intimacy, be it familial or sexual. Undressing someone outside of those two situations was an alien concept to me, hence the initial fear. I wasn’t sure what I was doing and what I was supposed to do. Initial fear and hesitation did give way, as I became more familiar and comfortable with what was going on. 

I wasn’t sure what to expect after the undressing part was over, so the close bodily contact was a bit of a surprise at first. I can’t speak for Ming Poon, but there certainly was arousal on my part. While I was aware of it at first, it gradually faded to the back of my mind.

6) What did you get out from the whole experience?
That our body is an integral part of us and that there’s nothing to be ashamed of. And that we can probably do with a bit more tactile contact with others every once in a while. I felt that for me, Undressing Room is a way of stripping off the society’s trappings and to return to a much more primal state of mind. What are clothes but our way of respecting and  conforming to that societal need to cover up and that parts of our body are considered shameful to be seen? And through bodily contact, I felt that one can gain a deeper empathy and connection to someone else.

7) Did you feel unsafe or threatened at any point in Undressing Room?
Nope. I was reassured by the briefing that at any time, I could have stopped the work. Also, the way Ming Poon moved and interacted was rather tender and gentle.

8) Would you participate in Undressing Room again?
As much as I enjoyed the experience, I’m not sure it’s something that I would like to repeat it, as most of the impact that it had on me personally was that step into the unknown.

9) Other comments. 
None.