Thu, Jan 13, 2011
Pay $250 for a photo with nude artist

Click on thumbnail to view [Photos: ST, TNP, Shinmin Daily News]

A STARK naked man has attracted attention from over 350 people so far at the Art Stage Singapore exhibition, currently being held at Marina Bay Sands.

The man is seated in a booth in front of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo's The Two Fridas - dressed only in his "birthday suit".

Visitors to the exhibition can choose to join him in the room, hold his hand, and get a photograph taken for a token price of $250.

This man who exhibits himself is in fact an artist from Hyderabad, India called T. Venkanna.

And yes, posing naked and taking photographs is part of his art installation about "removing the trappings of identity".

In a report in Shin Min Daily News, about 70 per cent of the visitors who have taken a photo with Venkanna are women.

The artist pointed out that most of them did not dare to look him in the eye, were shy, and did not speak much to him.

Venkanna told the Chinese evening daily that most of the visitors treated him with respect and did not undermine or question his artistic intentions.

According to the deputy director of Art Stage Singapore, Mr Jose Tay, 39, permission was sought from the Media Development Authority (MDA) before Venkanna's exhibit was given the go ahead.

"We took extra precautions with this exhibit to ensure our visitors did not feel uncomfortable," said Mr Tay.

He added that the additional measures taken were to screen the exhibit from the public area to avoid visitors from stumbling upon it by accident.

Art Stage Singapore is currently being held at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre from now to January 16.

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