In an effort to keep legendary film director Yasmin Ahmad’s legacy alive and to inspire a new generation of local film directors, a group of friends and fans of Yasmin took on the idea of her mother, Hajjah Inom Binti Yon, to establish a gallery to celebrate Yasmin’s work and life.
Yasmin’s mother, Mak Inom, a Muslim, believes that only three things continue upon one’s death and they are: charity, knowledge and prayers of a good child.
With “Yasmin at Kong Heng”, Mak Inom hopes that multi-talented Yasmin’s knowledge in film, art, advertising, poetry, photography and her deeply insightful way of thinking would be passed on and continue to inspire new good works of love and kindness.
Welcoming its first visitors on October 18, 2014, “Yasmin at Kong Heng” is located on the second flood of Old Block Apartments along Jalan Sultan Yussuf. It is open only on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 4pm (closed for lunch from 1pm – 1.30pm). Admission fee is by donation at a minimum of RM3 per adult. It is free-of-charge for children under 12 years of age. Proceeds are for the upkeep of the venue.
Ipoh was chosen as the city to site this “newseum” because of Yasmin’s love for Ipoh. Many of her films were shot here, including Sepet, Gubra, Muallaf and Talentime. The advertisement shot in Ipoh that comes to mind is the Petronas Chinese New Year ad called “One More Day”.
Yasmin Ahmad may have left to meet her Maker over five years ago but her spirit is still very much alive in the hearts and minds of her family, friends and fans.
Her talent and creativity weren’t only recognised and celebrated in Malaysia. In Singapore, the National University of Singapore and the Ministry of Education organised a workshop titled “Yasmin Ahmad” for Singapore’s secondary school students. It was held in the prestigious Old Parliament House. Perhaps the Ministry of Education Malaysia could organise something similar?
The photographs of the current exhibition are by Stanley Wong from Hong Kong, who is famously known as anothermountainman. Fans of Yasmin would be glad to know that this is going to be an ever evolving gallery, as funds come in to curate more exhibits from her rich trove of print ads, radio commercials and poetry.
As for now, each day, a Yasmin movie is screened. It will be put on loop when the door opens until it closes. A selection of her best television commercials totaling an hour is also screened to visitors.
“Yasmin, How You Know?”, a book compiled by friends and family is a collection of her poetry, jokes and sense of the ridiculous and includes her last two television scripts. It is available for sale at Yasmin at Kong Heng. The price is RM35 per copy. Proceeds go to Mercy Malaysia, Yasmin’s favourite charity.
Fans of Yasmin shouldn’t miss this exhibition. In fact, non-fans can learn a lot too, not only about Yasmin Ahmad herself but about living and loving life.
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