“The arts is an inseparable and invaluable part of humanity, as it represents the identity of the culture and its society. It is an essential element of the human journey, the fruits of human accomplishments. This year’s theme dedicated to the ones that have influenced the growth and evolution of the Malaysian arts in the sixties,” expresses Low Ngai Yuen (President of Kakiseni)
In the spirit of ‘Pop Yeh Yeh’ and the 1960’s; Boh Plantations and Kakiseni are proud to pay homage to the 1960’s; a historically exciting time in Malaysia’s creative progression by honouring three legends — Tan Sri P. Ramlee,Krishen Jit and Dato’ Dr. Usman Awang. As we celebrate performing arts artistry at the 11th BOH Cameronian Arts Awards happening on Sunday, the 27th of April, we had the opportunity to interview the President of Kakiseni, Low Ngai Yuen regarding the upcoming awards, her everyday life and what the arts mean to her.
1. What inspires you and the work you do?
It’s the people around me. I am often surrounded by people with the most amazing passion, love and vision for a better future. And you know that Gandhi saying about being the change we want? Well, that’s pretty much what I believe in (he just said it sooner hahahahah).
2. What were the obstacles you faced?
Loads. But I usually view obstacles as opportunities. I have a great team and they are my lifeline in achieving what we do. Though sometimes, when it’s matters pertaining to the sustenance of our organisations, I’d adopt a hopeful front.
3. Tell us a little bit about the though process to decide on the 105 nominations.
To be eligible for judging, all shows need to put in a submission in good time before their shows. Then Kakiseni will arrange for judges to attend the shows and judges will allocate points accordingly which will then be recorded. At the end of the year’s productions, the judges will come together under the watchful audit of our sponsor and partner, PwC to discuss if there’s any disagreement to the top final nominees. Then ballots are put in and results will be carted away by PwC until awards night itself.
4. What is a normal day like for you?
[Laughs] No two days are the same. But I kind of wake up at about 4am and work through the morning before sending the kids off to school and then going off to a day full of meetings and such. I aim to be home by 9pm to put my youngest to sleep before working at some homeworks and conversations with the kids.
5. Name 5 of your all-time favourite movies.
All time? Hmmm… ok, definitely The Sound Of Music, The Princess Diaries, Pretty Woman, Amelie and Titanic. Mostly because of the great times these movies evoke. Chances are, I share these movies with people I love most… And yes, quite the chick flicks there. This doesn’t qute represent my taste though… hahahha!
6. What keeps you going?
Knowing that I need to leave a better world for my kids.
7. What can people expect from this year’s Cammies? As in, how will this year’s award be different than last year’s?
It’ll be held in Stadium Negara, a heritage site with 3 times more people. 🙂 Also, it’s about paying tribute and remembering what matters to build a stronger tomorrow.
8. What is the biggest challenge in educating the Malaysian public about the arts?
There are not enough stakeholders and then the existing stakeholders have different vision. Preservation versus development. Tourism versus education. Arts is still not a national agenda even though it holds the key to our cultural identity.
9. Why do you think many Malaysians are still unaware of the arts scene in their own country?
First and foremost, arts is not taught in schools. It has little place in our education system. So trying to educate the uninitiated can be quite a mammoth task. Also, with the varied segmentations of Malaysians, any information to reach them need to be done with so much more vigor. So yes, we need help.
10. What do you want the public to take home from this year’s Cammies?
That the arts is well and exciting. That they need to allow themselves an opportunity to be acquainted with the arts – to really understand the depth of stimulation that the arts provide.
The 11th BOH Cameronian Arts Awards 2014 will take place on the 27th of April, Sunday at Stadium Negara.