SEMENYIH: Almost a year after JCI Youth officially established INCITEMENT on campus; Junior Chamber International’s youth chapter has risen to the occasion once again by organising a return of the inspiring talk-to-action event on the 5th of November.
INCITEMENT is a global movement to create social change in communities through a series of talks that are meant to unite like-minded people. However, its vision is not only delivered through talks – a very important aspect of this movement is an active focus on turning inspiration into action.
This year, JCI Youth invited three renowned creative influencers: Tan Yong Lin, an internationally recognised photographer; Chen Pooi Chin, a self-established handcraft artist; and globally celebrated scribble artist Vince Low, to come together and talk about a common theme, ‘Creativity: Finding Your Wonderland’. This is what the three prestigious speakers had to share:
Tan Yong Lin
Tan revealed early in his speech that he was also a student struggling to complete his thesis, and instantly became a crowd favourite due to his relatable nature. Despite sharing the student title with many, he has one title that most can only dream to achieve: a Sony World Photography Award.
From a teenager forced into science stream despite his passion for the arts, to being flown over to London to receive a token of international recognition, Tan is the embodiment of effort realised into action.
Despite his father’s disapproval for his art ambitions and a disinterest in the science subjects he was forced to study, Tan understood that the only way to pursue his creative dream was by doing well enough to get a scholarship. Thus, with 10 straight As for his SPM and an eventual offer from The Star Education Fund, he did just that.
Tan urged the crowd to also recognise their great ideas and focus their effort into realising dreams through action. Finally, he left the hopeful photographers in the audience with the simple words that his lecturer had said to him when he sought improvement, “Just keep taking pictures”.
Vince Low received international media attention when his scribble style portraits of dyslexic celebrities went viral. As a recently diagnosed dyslexic himself, he wanted his artform to symbolise the disarray that dyslexic people go through everyday.
His project began when he took charge of a campaign meant to raise awareness about dyslexia. He researched the disorder to get an idea of where to begin; eventually realising that dyslexia was the answer to the big questions in his life.
Before the project, Low had no idea that his struggles to were due to an actual disorder. Low was bullied for being a slow reader in high school, and called degrading names by classmates. Eventually, he progressed into Arts stream with bad results. However, this proved to be a step in the right direction, leading him to a career in advertising.
Regarding the power of action, he says that a small act has big effects. During a low point of his life, a doctor had failed to give Low a proper diagnosis of his condition, simply because of Low’s lack of finances. However, later that day, a waitress working at a shabby restaurant went the extra mile for him, watching over his food to protect it from flies when she realised that he had left it unattended. He says that her small act gave him hope on a day when he needed it most, and now, his actions are helping so many others.
Chen Pooi Chin
Chen is a handcraft artist with a fondness for snail mail. For her session, she brought a wooden chest of intricately made letters and gift-wrappings, all made with her own hands.
Chen says her involvement with the handcrafting community began when she posted pictures of her projects on Instagram. Her artistry instantly grabbed the attention of like-minded hobbyists from all over the world, some even becoming good friends of hers, whom she has travelled to meet.
To Chen, the process of sending a letter and waiting to see if something comes back is a thrill unlike any other. The pleasure, she says, lies in the effort and time involved with snail mail. Unlike emails and text messages that can be edited or deleted, paper media takes time and thought.
As for Chen’s talk-to-action efforts, she will be partnering with JCI Youth to make an impact through a follow-up event dubbed “Project Pie”. Project Pie will be carried out later this month, and participants will get a chance to attend a workshop led by Chen herself. She says that her aim for the workshop is to share her knowledge of craft, and inspire participants to teach it to others.
Details are still in the drafting process, but there is also talk of selling the crafts made during the workshop to raise funds for charity. JCI Youth’s Yen Ping, who had a major hand in organising this year’s INCITEMENT, urges those that attended the talk to also ‘do the walk’, and invites others whom are interested to keep an eye out for Project Pie in the near future.
By Amirah Qistina Hazrin
Photographs by Jovyn Lim