This feature first appeared on Tatler Malaysia.
In a heartwarming turn of events, sound engineer Grace Ng shares how she embraced her most fulfilling and challenging role yet.
At 20 years old, Grace Ng Pet Hui was determined to try a career in multimedia. Despite her family’s apprehension, Ng pursued her calling in the sound industry, where she worked for 15 years.“Working as a sound designer is fun, but it comes with a lot of pressure and requires patience and focus to get things done professionally,” Ng shares.Learning the tricks of the trade in Taiwan, Beijing, Hong Kong and Thailand heightened Ng’s tenacity, patience and dedication for the job – traits that would later benefit her enormously in her current job at Homage.
THE TURNING POINT
“In 2012, I participated in a workshop that discussed the topic of life and death,” recalls the Selangor native. “I was surprised at how positively the topic was handled, contrary to Chinese culture. It changed my outlook on death.”
When her grandmother passed away shortly after, Ng was able to use a little of what she learnt from the workshop to comfort her grieving mother.
“From this, I conceived an idea: I decided to apply my professional skills and experience to create documentary videos about life and death, in hopes that they would benefit society and encourage people to look at these topics in a different light.”
Convinced that she had more to offer, Ng started volunteering as a caregiver at Selayang Hospital’s Palliative Care Unit ward to gain practical experience to help her take better care of her own mother in the future.
“I loved my role as a volunteer,” says Ng, who is also conversant in Mandarin, Cantonese, Hakka and Malay. “At the palliative care ward, many patients became my mentors, so to speak. Most of the individuals there were cancer survivors who required meticulous care and companionship. Sometimes, just being there for them without saying anything and providing a listening ear mean a lot to seniors.”
For the next five years, Ng held her own as a volunteer caregiver at the hospital, taking inspiration from the things she saw and the people she met. “Regardless of our backgrounds, whether rich or poor, I realised that everyone is equal when it comes to the last stage of life,” she says.