Her inspiring advertisements especially the ones for Petronas Aidilfitri message, and maybe her controversial movies which were heavily critisised by some and even earned the ire of the Malaysian Religious Authorities, are among her arts and creativity that are sadly only appreciated when she is no longer here with us.
But all is not left unappreciated as an effort to keep legendary film director’s legacy alive and to inspire a new generation of local film directors has brought together a group of friends and fans of the late producer who took on the idea of her mother, Hajjah Inom Binti Yon, to establish a gallery to celebrate her works and life.
The Yasmin at Kong Heng is a tribute to the legacy of Yasmin Ahmad and officially opened on the October 18, 2014. The museum is gift from Leo Burnett and fellow tourism individuals such as Kamil Merican and so many more who helped through sponsorship.
Museum Manager, Safiah Rafa said with “Yasmin at Kong Heng”, 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.
Safiah added, Ipoh was chosen to site the museum because Yasmin held a great love for the city and its people. Many of her films have also been shot in the city, including Sepet, Gubra, Muallaf and the Chinese New Year advertisement, One More Day.
“Many will be inspired by Yasmin’s films and memorabilia, which in turn will help expand her legacy of love and understanding that transcends religious and racial differences,” she said.
Safiah, 60, said although Yasmin was from Muar, Inom chose Ipoh since it has been her daughter’s favourite city.
“Ipoh was chosen, since it is very close to late Yasmin’s heart, the cross cultural building and the serenity blended amidst more modern cafes and restaurants,” she said.
Since it’s opening, the museum receives around 50 to 60 visitors daily and more on weekends.
One visitor met recently was T. Sivan, 24, who said he is pleased and proud that Ipoh was chosen to showcase memories of his favourite filmmaker, though it is only a simple poster and pictures of Yasmin along the museum wall.
“My childhood was filled with her advertisement, and most of the venues chosen by late Yasmin are the same spot where my parents used to bring me around this city when I was younger,” he said.
“We can connect to her as Yasmin is one remarkable lady who always reminds us through hidden messages about unity and our multiracial community, ” he added.
Yasmin At Kong Heng intends to let visitors see life through Yasmin’s eyes, featuring her photography and filmography as well as creations devoted to her by other artists.
The gallery is expected to further evolve as more funds will come in and enable the process of bringing together more exhibits from her rich trove of print ads, radio commercials and poetry.
Yasmin at Kong Heng is located at 89-91, Old Block Apartments at Jalan Sultan Yussuf, 30000 Ipoh, Perak and is currently only open on weekends from 10am to 4pm.
Admission for children under 12 is free, while entry for adults is subject to a minimum donation of RM3 for maintenance costs.