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Undressing Room

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Participant 1: Anonymous
(Completed on 6th February 2017, Singapore)

1) What is your view on IMDA and its classification?
They have a role to play in safeguarding the interests of the young, minorities and the vulnerable. The system and the organisation carry a legitimate cause. It is the executors that sometimes shift the bar beyond reasonableness. For me, its classification is hardly important. It’s the content of the performance that interests me.

2) How did you feel about IMDA’s denial of classification for Undressing Room, on the grounds that it contained ‘excessive nudity’?
I think R21 is sufficient a rating for the show. There’s no need to ban it. Adults beyond the age of 21 should be old enough to discern what they can or cannot accept, can or cannot consent. There’s no harm created to both the performer and the participant, as both are willing parties and in a private space. So long as the performance fully discloses what’s required and, as with the actuals of this show, the participants can stop the performance anytime they feel uncomfortable, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be allowed.

3) What was your reaction to Undressing Room being withdrawn from the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival, after it was denied a classification by IMDA?
It’s a pity. Before one could even see the performance, what rights does it give the person to judge?  It’s like saying durian tastes horrible and is bad for the body, even before tasting it.  

4) Why did you decide to take part in the revived Undressing Room, despite the controversy surrounding it?
From Ming’s act of running this, it shows his determination and courage. His passion is clear and there’s no reason not to support it.  

Actually, the experience started right after buying the tickets. First the misconception that this would be a small audience performance where I was expected to watch, to realising that I was going to be part of the performance. Then it was the cancellation of the show, the sense that this was a pity, to admiring the passion of the artiste to continue this pro bono. It was then a bit of a struggle, getting cold feet about participating to getting excited about it. Even before the performance started, the experience had already begun.

5) What were your thoughts or concerns regarding your participation in Undressing Room, a work that had not been approved by IMDA?
I didn’t think a private performance like this would contravene any laws. If there were any concerns, it’ll be some groups of people who are out to judge and make a political issue out of nothing. I am equally neutral about IMDA’s decision. I’ve nothing against them. I think they are just doing their job.

6) How did IMDA’s decision affect your participation or experience of Undressing Room?
They created more publicity which I think got Ming more famous than he would have been.

7) Other comments.
I think IMDA needs to widen their range of the arts to cater for the growing diverse population. Laws are here to protect the vulnerable and the young. An act like this doesn’t cause any society harm; in fact it shows the wide range of performing arts that are available for Singaporeans of all walks of life. Some can disagree and some might start a debate. The discourse itself is a meaningful journey.