South Korean DJ’s ‘monk’ performance must not include religious elements in order to continue, authorities say

SINGAPORE: The planned performance by a South Korean “monk” DJ must not involve any religious elements if it is to go ahead, police said on Tuesday (May 21) after issuing a notice to the nightclub involved in organizing the event.

The artist, known as DJ NewJeansNim, has gained notoriety for performing while wearing a monk’s robe and incorporating Buddhist mantras into his performance.

The man, who is not affiliated with popular K-pop group NewJeans, is scheduled to perform his first show in Singapore at Club Rich on June 19-20.

Promotional material for the club, which is located along Middle Road, showed the DJ sporting a shaved head and dressed in a monk’s robe, with his hands in a prayer position.

The Singapore Police Force (SPF) said in a statement on Tuesday night that it was aware of the planned action and had contacted the licensee and the club’s stakeholders.

CNA has contacted Club Rich for comment.

Under the conditions of the Public Entertainment License, the licensee must ensure that public entertainment provided on its premises is not offensive to any race, religion, ethnicity or nationality or likely to cause discord between different groups.

“Given the nature of the intended performance, the act may violate this condition,” police said.

The club took note of the notice and informed the police that it will ensure that the performance complies with the conditions of the licence.

This includes ensuring that the performance does not involve any elements associated with religion, whether in dress, hand gestures, artifacts, songs and lyrics, the SPF said.

“UNACCEPTABLE”

Home and Law Minister K Shanmugam said the artist has used religious verses in song lyrics and an element of Buddhist prayer in his previous shows.

“This would have been offensive to our Buddhist community. This is not acceptable,” she said in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

“Police have told the nightclub owners that action will be taken if the performance continues. They understood our position and agreed to cooperate.

“This news came to light on Vesak day, an unfortunate coincidence. But the Buddhist community (like other communities) knows that the government will take firm action regarding such things.”