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CULT x BON TON

Beginning in February 2022, the artist residency at Bon Ton Langkawi is an initiative to activate a cultural hub through creative collaborations. The artist residency also aims to provide a fresh new space to draw inspiration from Langkawi’s distinctive and unique natural landscapes. CULT Gallery curates the art residency shows by selecting emerging artists who need space and support to develop their artistic practice. The artists are chosen for their versatility and resourcefulness that will enable them to create site-specific installations at Bon Ton and to handle community art workshops.

Kimberley Boudville is our third artist in residence. A graduate from Singapore’s Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Kimberley’s artistic practice embraces many different mediums, all of which provide comfort after having lost her grandparents and father. After participating in multiple shows in Kuala Lumpur, Kimberley believes that her time at Bon Ton has allowed her to reflect on her life as an artist after the loss of her close family members. Bon Ton’s mangroves reminded Kimberley of her early practice, where she linked tree roots to ideas of stability and family in oil paintings and ink drawings. Their sinuous roots inspired Kimberley to create sculptures and experiment with their mysterious shapes and forms. In this way, Kimberley believes her practice has come back full circle, where the roots she once drew have now materialised in physical form.

After experimenting with natural clay and ceramics, Kimberley chose to use recycled newspaper and cotton bandages to create her sculptures. This allowed the sculptures to be “touched, handled, and played with,” contrary to the fragility of her previous clay works. “Touch is a major love language with me and I’ve grown up in a family that hugs,” she writes, “It is my way of expressing love, be it if these works represent itself as a passed loved one, or a self reflection in the journey of growing up with grief.” In this series of works, Kimberley invites viewers to interact with these dense and cushiony roots–to feel, touch, and to embrace them.




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I wanted to portray growing pains, as it affects us and our minds. I believe in a neurophysiological metamorphosis that happens to us as we go from childhood into adulthood. It’s the period of time where we seemingly face the most hardships and new challenges constantly present themselves. Where we go from innocent self-absorbed fledgelings to responsible, wise adults. I find that dreams offer the most relatability to me in quests to cope with these ‘growing pains’. They are like a chrysalis, formed to restructure and reorganise our thoughts and experiences, to transform into something useful for the next challenge we face.


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written by Ellen Lee and S. Jamal Al-Idrus


In Chrysalis, a collaboration between Artemis Art and The Back Room, we present a new body of work (literally!) by Kimberley Boudville, an emerging Malaysian artist whose youth belies her intimacy with a range of difficult emotions. Since her first solo exhibition, titled My Journey, a collection of drawings and paintings at Artemis Art in 2020, Kimberley has embarked on a new chapter in her life. In 2021, she graduated with her Bachelor’s in Fine Art from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore. Chrysalis is the second solo exhibition of her career and the first since her return. The widening of horizons—the new experiences, the matured outlook—is palpable in her works, which have moved beyond drawings into the territory of mixed media and installation.


This collaborative effort takes place in The Back Room gallery at The Zhongshan Building, Kuala Lumpur. In the middle of the gallery space is the exhibition’s central focus, an installation of a crystallised resin-cast skeleton atop a mound of dirt, raised upon a pedestal, titled Memento Mori, Memento Memorias. Surrounding the walls are limited edition prints from the Psyche series, in which the artist has rearranged the skeleton’s bones to create new forms and imaginary bone creatures. By using a crystallising technique on the skeleton assemblage, she fixes it in place and time, turns it into an object of art. In so doing, she also immortalises her emotions and memories of a specific time.


Our memories are our personal touchstones, reconnecting us to important events and individuals that have contributed to shaping who and what we are. But seldom is a second thought given as to how, what, and why we remember. Or, if what we remember is a complete and unembellished representation of a given experience. Some might recollect only the highlights, others the full details. Some may even try to forget certain events, particularly those that were unpleasant or painful – however, these remain in our memory (albeit suppressed), whether we like it or not.


These are among some of the observations, questions, and thoughts present in Chrysalis. The works here are an elaboration of the works in My Journey, which documented the events and emotions surrounding the death of Kimberley’s father in 2020. But if My Journey explored the depths of her grief towards the passing of her father, then Chrysalis is a reckoning with the time that has passed since then, and how her memories have evolved along with it. While My Journey was akin to memento mori, a reminder and reflection upon death, Chrysalis is more like a memento memoria, a reflection upon the processes of memory itself.


While time cannot always heal all wounds, it does give space for us to rationalise and put experiences into perspective. Important people and events may be preserved in our memories, but the manner and scope of our recollection are bound to change as time goes by. And just as how we transition from one stage of life to another, so too do our memories transform with us.


Accompanying Memento Mori, Memento Morias and the Psyche series are The ABCs of Loss, a series of alphabets formed out of animal bones, and the Chrysalis series, a collection of delicate flowers formed out of butterfly wings and encased in bell jars for eternal preservation. Taken all together, they make up a more complete image of Kimberley’s creative maturation and the continuation of her journey of mourning and reconciliation.



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the root of affection
Thank You for Loving Me At My Worst

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