Crochet artist kllylmrck turns kitsch into creativity | The A List
Artist Kelly Lim, who goes by the moniker kllylmrck, at her exhibition, Home Kitsch Home, at the Esplanade. (Photos: Esplanade — Theatres on the Bay)

Crochet artist kllylmrck turns kitsch into creativity | The A List

Crochet artist Kelly Lim, 29, who is better known by her pseudonym, kllylmrck (pronounced “kelly limerick”), is here to bust the stereotype of crochet art as a grandmother’s hobby.

Her newest exhibition, Home Kitsch Home, at the Esplanade, features household items adorned in crochet. Among them is a lampshade with monster-like tentacles and fly swatters with crochet trimmings. The style of the works is what Lim calls dasa-kawaii (tacky-cute), “a term often used on kitschy stuff, or ‘Mum Art’.”

She says: “I’ve always found beauty in this ‘Mum Art’ aesthetic, so I’ve chosen to hero and elevate these kitschy household items.”

As much as the show is about kitsch at home, the title suggests that the kitsch could be a stand-in for familial sweetness and the ties that bind a household. In fact, the show includes a diary that Lim made, with her mother penning the text in the journal.

The diary is a substitute for the exhibition wall text because Lim didn’t want the deeper meaning of the exhibition writ large on the wall. She wanted people to find out more about the exhibition in a personal way – flipping through the pages of handmade, hand-written diary, spending time to “appreciate things that take time to create.”

home kitsch home in article

Lim’s Home Kitsch Home show at the Esplanade, features household items adorned in crochet.

A time-consuming craft with a mumsy-vibe might not be the definition of millennial cool, and Lim has had her fair share of naysayers. But the artist, who picked up crochet from her mother at the age of seven, says it is hard to quit the medium.

“I’ve always said this, I think I fell into crochet out of chance and grew into it with age. If I hadn’t discovered it at such a young age, I probably wouldn’t have stuck to it all this while. So, I don’t think I chose it, but it has become so familiar to me that it’s difficult to imagine expressing myself as well with some other medium.”

Still, she has not stopped trying to experiment with new creative expressions in crochet. She works on different projects concurrently as she finds it helps to spark cross-fertilisation of ideas. Her portfolio spans a wide range of work including soft sculptures, installations and an accessory line, HA/DE.

The act of looping yarn might sound easy to some, but Lim says there is more than meets the eye. For one, repetitive strain injury is not unusual among those who crochet seriously. Lim herself, suffered muscle inflammation during a busy period last year.

She says: “Crochet itself is simple, but it’s not easy to make yourself repeat the same action over and over again, figuring out the very mathematical charts, or controlling the tension in the crochet so that it looks good.”

One thing’s for sure, crocheting is a whole lot of heart-work, buy Lim is not about to call it a day and head home.

Details on Home Kitsch Home here.

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