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"Lifeline" by Kim-Sarah I

The term lifeline popped up in my head numerous times during the beginning stages of creating this project.


By Kim-Sarah I

SEA Change Lab Changemaker

Winter 2022

The term lifeline popped up in my head numerous times during the beginning stages of creating this project. To gain some more inspiration, I browsed through my photos and found a personal connection between fishing and lifeline. Fishing has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I’ve spent long hours by the docks, climbing the rocks, slicing pieces of squid and worm—this all became instinctual.

My family relies on fishing for survival. Fish is a staple in Khmer cuisine. The activity also gives them a chance to decompress, live in the moment, practice patience, etc. Creating and art is my form of survival. It helps me make sense of my emotions and experiences. This project allowed me to have an indirect conversation with my family, specifically my parents, to understand one another and remind us that we are human before our perceived roles.

My initial idea was to incorporate the printing process of cyanotype. Things didn’t go as planned due to missing materials and learning curves. I’m glad that I pivoted and still utilized my “failed” attempts in my final pieces.

Official Artist Statement

Documentation of lived experience, communal and personal joy is sacred. I view my artwork and creating as a general source of healing by taking our daily moments and documenting them for us to view and preserve. I connect fragments of time and memory through visual arts. More specifically, photography, digital graphic design, and videography. I embrace the exploration of the arts–a beloved practice my ancestors and elders used to express and preserve moments. I am now picking up where they left off. I honor my voice, even as it trembles, to share my form of expression. Memories and feelings are fleeting, but they remind me tenderness is abundant. This work exists for generations before me, generations after me, and the generations I experience presently.

About Kim-Sarah

Kim-Sarah I (she/her/hers) is a Khmer-American visual artist based in NH/MA.

She creates a visual language—utilizing photography, graphic design and videography, to explore themes of closeness, community, family, and Khmer-American experience and identity. Kim-Sarah currently enjoys documenting joy and indirect intimacies between people. To her, piecing together these moments functions as a way to heal, understand and cultivate the themes. You can also find her soaking up the sun, in the gym, or sipping on a Thai iced tea.


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