Krishen Jit - Astro Fund Awards 5 Grants to Extraordinary Malaysians

Krishen Jit - Astro Fund Awards 5 Grants to Extraordinary Malaysians

As part of its on-going commitment to supporting Malaysia’s art landscape, Astro in collaboration with Five Arts Centre has awarded five (5) grants worth a total of RM33,000 to exceptional Malaysians through the Krishen Jit - Astro Fund. Inspired by the late theatre legend Dato’ Krishen Jit, the fund has over the years benefited the arts industry in numerous aspects. The five (5) grants were presented to Wendi Sia, Lee Ren Xin, Naaraayini Balasubramaniam, Thavarupani (Ruby) Subramaniam and Danny Lim.

The Krishen Jit - Astro Fund has been utilised for various trainings, workshops, attachments or residencies, experimental productions, writing, or creating new work in music, dance, theatre, writing, crafts, visual or performance art that assist grantees in achieving their artistic ambitions. This initiative aspires to keep the creative spirit of Krishen Jit alive with the passing of the torch of art to a new generation. The Malaysian arts landscape continues to thrive bringing more creative works to life on screen and on ground, through Astro’s continued commitment to the Krishen Jit – Astro Fund.

The selection panellists for the Krishen Jit - Astro Fund in 2018 include:

  • Tan Sri Datuk Norliza Rofli – Director, Department of Culture and Arts, Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia.
  • Jolyn Gasper – Snr. AVP, Corporate Responsibility, Community Affairs, Astro.
  • Leow Puay Tin – Playwright and Researcher, Sunway University.
  • Ravi Navaratnam – Representative from Five Arts Centre.
  • Mac Chan – Representative from Five Arts Centre.

This year the Krishen Jit - Astro Fund received 43 applications in which the allocation of RM33,000 was distributed into grants ranging from RM3,000 to RM10,000 each, for projects in dance, theatre, film, video, publication, visual arts, music, animation, education, training and interdisciplinary work, of which five grantees were selected.


The Grant: RM10,000
The Project: “GERIMIS” - Art Exhibition

GERIMIS is an immersive installation art exhibition that bridges the narratives of Orang Asli (OA) with ours, through the reconstruction of a home, using every day and common-place objects to tell the narratives of OA.

Wendi Sia began her journalistic days as an intern at BERNAMA TV and then found her footing in film and art through The Daily Seni. Soon after, she went on a 6-month backpacking journey across Indo-China to find her voice as a writer. Her question was, “Who am I in the saturated world of corporatism and consumerism?” Back in Malaysia, she spent 2 dreadful years in creative agencies before finally finding the courage to pursue GERIMIS with Sebastian Heng. GERIMIS art exhibition project is a recipient of the 2018 INXO Arts Fund and 2018 Krishen Jit Astro Fund.

The Grant: RM10,000
The Project: Community Research Initiatives

This project will focus on a two-pronged research in her neighbourhood community: The first research consists of a daily ritual of dancing and walking around the larger neighbourhood community. Meanwhile, the other research component is a direct involvement in the community in which Xin’s conducting weekly dance and movement workshops with the residents.

Lee Ren Xin’s growing interest with site-specific work stems from her curiosity about the gaps between people who live in vicinity, the fading relevance of geographical location with increasing non-places, the mythical position of the local/outsider in relation to migrant workers, and the societal choreography of differentiated bodies in relation to time and spaces. Prior, her work series B.E.D., supported by the Krishen Jit Astro Fund 2014, was presented in BO:M Festival (Seoul, 2015) and Festival/Tokyo 2016. She studied at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore and Purchase College (BFA, 2011), New York.

The Grant: RM5,000
The Project: “When Bells meet Buckets” - Performing Arts

When Bells meet Buckets aims to tell the story of youth who struggle to break out of the urban poor stigma. The story will be delivered in form of Bharatanatyam, accompanied by bucket drums and acting.

Naaraayini Balasubramaniam is a co-founder at GoodKids, a social enterprise helping at-risk youth to build self-confidence using performing arts. She is a musician with a diploma in Music and Counselling Psychology. GoodKids has grown to support 7 beneficiary centres with more than 300 students impacted since the setup. Naaraayini started volunteering at a very young age with her father, a counsellor, at multiple orphanages in Penang and Kedah. She has conducted talks for caregivers and teenagers. With a wide range of musical experience, namely Carnatic, Western and Hindustani music, she also conducts music appreciation lessons for mental health patients, geriatric patients and addiction rehab patients in Petaling Jaya. At present, Naaraayini plays the key role in operations and planning the direction of GoodKids. Besides training the students, she also manages the PR and social media of the organization.

The Grant: RM5,000
The Project: “ANTIDOTE: Uncovering Skin & Soul” - A Documentary

ANTIDOTE – Uncovering the Skin & Soul is a documentary which captures issues all women face, regardless of diversity, in their background, values, and ethics. 30 diverse women share intimate stories which are deciphered into art painted on their skin.

Thavarupani (Ruby) Subramaniam is a multi-disciplinary creative professional. She took a gamble and quit her award-winning career in marketing, to pursue her passion in arts in 2014. Since then, she has backpacked more than 60 cities around the world to find stories and inspiration for her art. The travelling provides her with insights to question culture and society, for an urban audience whom she creates the works for. Her current project is a documentary film, ANTIDOTE: Uncovering Skin & Soul. She features 30 women discussing their relationship with their bodies. When she`s not producing art for herself, she teaches art for the community, and runs Art Battle Malaysia.

The Grant: RM3,000
The Project: “Bersih: The Inside Story” - A Book

Bersih: The Inside Story is a book about the behind-the-scenes history of the Bersih movement.

Danny Lim is a writer and photographer mainly concentrating on socio-political issues. Formerly a journalist with The Sun and The Edge, he has since contributed to a wide range of local and international publications including the South China Morning Post and Esquire magazine, and has had his photographic works exhibited in four joint exhibitions. He is also a freelance local producer and fixer for international media organisations, working most frequently for the BBC, CNN and Al-Jazeera to help produce major news stories in Malaysia.