M1 Fringe Festival pornography disguised as art?

M1 Fringe Festival – Pornography Disguised As Art?

The M1 Fringe Festival, into its 13th year, will feature 14 events from nine countries running from January 5 – 14 2017. They take place at various locations including The Esplanade, Centre 42, Lasalle College of the Arts and Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.

The theme to the upcoming Fringe Fest is “Art & Skin” and according to Sean Tobin, the festival director, it will be its “most provocative” to date.

There will be a dozen of “sexy” shows, some of which have performers disrobing for a “cause”. The following are some of the shows that we wish to highlight our concerns:


naked ladies

Naked Ladies – Canadian performance artist Thea Fitz-James will undress herself gradually while providing a “lecture”, narrating the history of female nudity in “art” and further the discussion on gender and sexuality.


Naked Ladies is a queer revisionist performance lecture about the history of the naked female body in performance.

Bringing together confessions of her own naked stories (both traumatic and silly), striptease and storytelling, Thea Fitz-James dives head-in into the politics of the female body to ask why, where and for whom women get naked on stage.



http://www.madgeofhonor.com/The Undressing Room – Singapore openly homosexual dancer Ming Poon will perform his show in private with anyone where they will disrobe each other in the silent “act” of undressing. The participant can be either a man or a woman and the “act” can last up to an hour, depending on how long he or she wish to be in the room with him.


Undressing Room is a one-to-one performance where the performer and an audience-participant execute a ritual of undressing each other in total silence.

As each layer of our protective “skin” is being slowly removed, we gradually restore our bodies back to their original and natural state. After undressing, we reach out and let our bare skins touch.


foreign-bodies-skin-is-sinForeign Bodies: Skin in SIN – Performers Eugene Tan and Madge of Honor assemble a brand-new burlesque troupe, picking fresh talents from various sexual and social minority groups to create a rude, risque, boundary-bashing revue that examines discrimination and other topical issues.

In its intro piece, it said:“In our march to 6.9 million people in Singapore – many of whom are imported – how do we make space for each other? Let’s start by taking off our clothes! In trying to understand what might be a ‘new normal’, perhaps it is the expatriates who might have something unique to share”.


What do Foreign Bodies do? We take our clothes off!

SKIN in SIN is a brand new burlesque troupe, birthed through this production, with an eye towards performing, thriving and making a (very naked) mark in Singapore.

The following is a video from Madge of Honor called “Reveal”  where she bounces her titties inside a 66 inch x 31 in x 21 inch display box for approximately 100 minutes. The piece debuted at the Boston LGBTQ Artist Alliance event. More can be accessed here.


pretty-butchPretty Butch – Singapore writer-director Tan Liting will also examine how women’s bodies and identities are viewed in her play Pretty Butch. Tan said he wants to raise awareness of people whose bodies don’t conform with how society expects their bodies to be, and the kind of social pressures these people experience daily.


Gender is skin deep. To be comfortable in one’s own skin is not as simple as it sounds. Our ideas of male and female have evolved over the years, and we have constantly changed different “skins” to suit the ideals of masculinity and femininity. The concept of being butch has also evolved over the years, and its archetypes seem to have become archaic as the concept of gender becomes more fluid. Is being butch only skin deep? Or does being butch point to something closer to the core of our humanity?

According to festival director Sean Tobin, he does not think that such shows have ever been done in Singapore before. He said the festival is very bold and confronting and their shows have a “reason” for being so. He added that being provocative does not mean being irresponsible or careless as a lot of thought and research have gone into each work.


Who is Sean Tobin?

Sean Tobin hails from West Australia and holds a Bachelor of Education (specialising in Drama) from Edith Cowan University. He has over 20 years experience working in Theatre and with young people.

In addition to heading drama departments in schools in West Australia, Sean also has over 15 years of experience in the Singapore theatre and education circles as a teacher, performer, writer, director, consultant and festival director.

He has also been working with youth and young people in Singapore for over 15 years and is currently Head of Theatre at School of The Arts (SOTA), Singapore.


Pornography Disguised As Art?

The above-mentioned “shows” depicting sex in various themes are highly questionable. Cloaking them as forms of “art” does nothing to lessen the fact that they are actually pornographic.

Does the government deem inviting an audience to participate in the “show” that includes undressing and exploring each other naked body not an obscene act punishable by law? If the government allow this, isn’t this a solicitation for a public sex act? This is as good as prostituting the performing art sector and is downright revolting.

Moreover, these so-called arts groups have been pushing the boundaries of acceptable behaviour and have been using the festival to promote homosexual behaviour and transgenderism, as well as to subconsciously implant into people’s mind that that gender is fluid and our biological sex does not define who we are.

The majority of Singaporeans still pride themselves as conservative and pro-family and have no wish to see our nation sink into an immoral mess. We have no wish for western decadence and LGBT themes to be propagated and poison people’s mind in the name of “progression”.

This could not be more succinctly conveyed by our late President Wee Kim Wee during his parliamentary speech in 1989. He said Singapore was wide open to external influences. He said while not all foreign ideas are harmful, we should uphold common values that capture the essence of being Singaporean.

He also said:

“Traditional Asian ideas of morality, duty, and society which have sustained and guided us in the past are giving way to a more Westernized, individualistic and self-centred outlook on life” and “we should preserve the cultural heritage of each of our communities, and uphold certain common values which capture the essence of being a Singaporean. These core values include placing society above self, upholding the family as the basic building block of society“.

Hence, we would like to question why the government are letting their fences down and allow such obscene and dubious “art” performances to be staged in Singapore year after year. Even as the Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA) appends a R18 classification for such shows, it still does not negate the fact that they are actually promoting pornography in the public realm disguised as “art”.

We really need to question the government and IMDA whether they have exercised due diligence in vetting such shows.

If the government continue to allow such decadent sex and LGBT-themed shows to be propagated, then it should be prepared for any ensuing backlash. The result of the recent U.S. presidential election is a good example why a serious and significant rift has emerged among its citizens.

Although PM Lee Hsien Loong, speaking at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Peru, contented that there was a great divide between the Democrats and Republicans in geographical locations amid the concerns over job losses due to globalisation in the recent U.S. presidential election, he failed to address a very significant issue that led to the stunning defeat of the Democrats – the country has gone extreme left and liberal under Obama.

The defeat of Hilary Clinton in the recent U.S. presidential election is a clear indictment against their liberal policies such as the promotion of LGBT rights as “human rights”, and abortion rights.

At the same time, there has been an unprecedented attack on religious liberty and pro-family values.

In other words, they have lost touch with the silent majority that had enough of the constant attack on their conservative and pro-family beliefs, turning the prediction by mainstream media (or rather lame stream media) of a Hilary Clinton victory on its head.


  1. PM: S’pore must avoid deep divide as seen in Britain, US
  2. Have Democrats Pulled Too Far Left?

Our government need to take heed of such developments and if PM Lee truly understands what he said at the APEC Summit, that “such social divides cannot be allowed to widen in Singapore as rebuilding bridges will be very difficult”, then he should stop our art scenes turning into a platform for promoting sex and LGBT activism.

We really cannot see any values in such events as all they will leave behind is a decayed mentality of our people, especially the impressionable.

For people like Sean Tobin, director of the M1 Fringe Festival, can’t he think more creatively and showcase performances other than those that portrayed sex, homosexuality and transgenderism?

As a foreigner who has no vested interest in Singapore’s well-being, why is he allowed to meddle in such divisive issues. Moreover, in Australia where he comes from, same-sex marriage and the “safe-school” programme are contentious issues that have caused much social frictions.

So, why are we having people like him dictating our art scene?