100 take part in mass flower bath performance

100 take part in mass flower bath performance
Participants (above) having fun on the lawn of the National Museum yesterday while taking part in a mass Mandi Bunga or flower bath.

It was wet. It was messy. It was fun. And it was art.

The lawn of the National Museum saw 100 women, men and children dressed in colourful sarong wraps, sitting in plastic tubs of water, drenching themselves and having a ball.

They were taking part in a mass Mandi Bunga - flower bath - in a 10-minute performance art piece by Malaysian artist Sharon Chin.

It is one of 10 community- driven arts projects featured in this year's Singapore Biennale, which is focused on South-east Asian art.

The flower bath item saw participants meeting at the Singapore Art Museum to collect flowers and herbs for the bath, before crossing over to the National Museum to sit in tubs, pour water on themselves and others and even whip off their sarongs at the end of the performance piece.

Participant Nur Sue'Aldah, 19, an art student, called it "a once-in- a-lifetime experience".

"Mandi Bunga is traditionally a cleansing ritual bath. It was amazing to see how the artist got us all to connect with each other through such a simple ritual," she said.

The Biennale is Singapore's biggest contemporary art event and this year's venues are clustered around the Bras Basah area.

There were families, students, art lovers and curious passers-by at venues such as the National Museum of Singapore, the Singapore Art Museum, SAM at 8Q and the Peranakan Museum on Saturday.

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