Literature News

I LUP CHEW: Yasmin Ahmad’s musings, notes and poems turned into a book

It’s always in someone’s creation that we keep them alive and in the event of launching a book titled, Yasmin I Lup Chew; it was the writings of the iconic director and writer that personified her again.

The book launch was held in the vicinity of Kinokuniya, KLCC and decorated by posters of the book’s cover and with the eager listeners of people of the media as well as fans of her work. The title was inspired by how the late Yasmin Ahmad would say “I love you,” to her closest friends and relatives which is a cheeky and quirky interpretation of affection that would undeniably stay with the people who knew her whenever she is in remembrance and for us readers, it was a window to her humour and her private life.


Sat in front of the crowd were Datin Orked Ahmad and the Group CEO of Publicis One Malaysia and CEO of Leo Burnett Malaysia, Tan Kien Eng with a grey, faded shoebox filled with the writings of Yasmin Ahmad before she helm the role of writer and director; this was the period before Yasmin Ahmad was known to the world as Yasmin Ahmad.


According to Tan Kien Eng, “The book cannot fit everything from her notebook. There are poems she calls poetic rejects, but to us the poems are painstakingly beautiful. Like instead of studying foreign writers, I feel like we should be studying her poetry.” Yasmin I Lup Chew is a curation of Yasmin’s ideas, her murmurs and her encounters with people who may have inspired her films and advertisements and they were jotted on lined notebooks and held in the shoebox was also a yellow covered photo album that one would be familiar with in the 90’s and its contents were also published in the book. Accompanying the launch was the screening of Yasminsan, a documentary by Edmund Yeo in celebratory of Yasmin’s works behind the scenes, excerpts of her days before she became the Yasmin Ahmad and the film gave a visual representation of what reading Yasmin I Lup Chew would be; her personal creative expressions within the pages elevated by her own voice on screen.


From a writer’s perspective and someone who belongs to the generation of online writing, blogs and Tweets, it comes as sadness that it would be a rarity for young writers and creatives to keep notebooks, journals and even albums in their own hand. Their works now are archived in the digital media and it belongs to everyone hence, there will be no special discovery of their personal work. Yasmin I Lup Chew is an important reminder of the ‘ink-on-paper’ era as pages of her notebooks were carefully arranged and scanned in the book and the grainy developed pictures of her past were printed accordingly to show that this was the way we recorded once.

Yasmin I Lup Chew is available at Kinokuniya KLCC and on the website, for RM 49.90 and also available is the limited ‘shoebox’ edition for RM 299.00 containing copies of her handwritten notes, photos, scripts and a complimentary copy of the regular book edition.


Images are from the MSL Group Asia. 

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