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Thinking and Talking about Arts and Culture in Southeast Asia

‘Brother Cane is part of me’: Josef Ng [Singapore]

“Neatly stashed away in an HDB flat somewhere in the western part of Singapore are a folded black robe, newspaper cuttings, tiles with splashes of red dye, and strands of pubic hair.

These are all that remains of Josef Ng’s Brother Cane, one of the most controversial performances in Singapore’s contemporary art history.

“Yes, everything is still at home. They’re all stored in a corner of the storage area in my mum’s room,” said Ng, with a smile.

It’s a Saturday evening at Changi Airport Terminal 3, and the 40-something Singaporean is having a quick bite before flying off to Shanghai, where he now lives.

It has been more than a decade since his last interview with the Singapore media. And for the first time, he is willing to speak at length about a certain pubic hair-snipping performance he did back in 1994.

Today, the remnants from Brother Cane are safely stored away. But back then, the performance itself proved to be a proverbial Pandora’s Box moment for Ng and his fellow artists. The media-fuelled uproar that followed led to the withdrawal of public funding for performance art and forum theatre for 10 years. …”

 

Read the full article on Channel News Asia.

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