KUALA LUMPUR: One of the country’s last wayang kulit masters, the late Abdullah Ibrahim, was finally given due recognition at the 4th Annual Boh Cameronian Arts Awards.
He received the Cameronian Lifetime Achievement Award at the awards ceremony on Friday.
Known as Dalang Dollah Baju Merah, Abdullah, who suffered a stroke in 2000, passed away eight months ago at 67.
“A great light has passed from our country,” said Pusaka founder Eddin Khoo when accepting the award on behalf of Abdullah, from whom he studied the art of wayang kulit for over a decade.
(Pusaka is a non-profit organisation set up to research and document traditional art forms.)
Abdullah began performing the wayang kulit Siam at 13.
Despite a ban imposed by the PAS-led Kelantan Government in 1990 that caused many troupes to fold, he continued with his art while working as a rubber tapper to make a living.
The awards ceremony also saw the theatre community mourning the loss of other personalities – the late Krishen Jit of the Five Arts Centre, James Vadiveloo of the Kuala Lumpur Chamber Music Players, Swami Shantanand Saraswathi of the Temple of Fine Arts, mak yong exponent Pak Su Mat and joget gamelan performer Ahmad Omar.
It also paid tribute to patron of the arts Datin Paduka Seri Endon Mahmood, the late wife of the Prime Minister.
The Annual Boh Cameronian Arts Awards was launched four years ago by Kakiseni Sdn Bhd to raise the profile of the arts community in Malaysia and to recognise the contribution of those involved in the performing arts.
This year saw 120 nominees competing in 39 categories.
The big winner of the night was Inner Space’s Inside Out, which won eight awards, including best music production and best dance production.
Separation 40, Dramalab’s collaboration with Singapore’s The Necessary Stage, took home three theatre awards – best group performance, best director and best theatre production.
Instant Cafe’s Jo Kukathas received the best actor award for a second time for The Road To Mecca.
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