ALIVE  by  Kim Hak

24 – 31 October 2018



“ALIVE” is my personal concept to reveal the intimate memory of old photos and usual objects entrusted to me by local Cambodian families, forty years after the Khmer Rouge regime.

Chapter I: Battambang (2014) Since I was a young boy, in Cambodia,
I have often listened to my parents, siblings, and relatives as they shared their past and painful experiences.

In 1975, during the fall of the Lon Nol regime, my parents, as well as families threw away many old pictures and identity cards in order to hide their backgrounds. If not, they would have been killed immediately for being educated. However some people took great risks to keep photographs to remember their loved ones and objects, which represented something important to them.

I started the series “ALIVE” from my personal family’s memory, but my purpose is to expand the project to other families throughout Cambodia.
It is now a race against the clock, as living witnesses are gradually disappearing. All these photographs and objects are deeply significant. They are evidence of the past time in history. War can kill victims, but it cannot kill memory of the survivors. The memory should be alive, known and shared for the current research of human beings, and the preservation of heritage for the next generations.

Chapter II: Logan – Australia (2015)
My question is “What about memories with other objects of survivors who they were former refugees at the border camps and have fled their homeland Cambodia to live in others countries as Australia, France, and The United States?” In 2015, being on my art residency in Brisbane, after meeting with Cambodian-Australians living in
Logan, I am still fascinated with objects, and photos which migrants have brought along with them to Australia especially from the border camps of Thailand during the 70s and 80s. To me, this historical story need to be completed its timeline.

Chapter III: Auckland – New Zealand (2018)
Photos will be released as a solo exhibition in Auckland in May 2019.
REMARK: This project is an on-going project for photo book publication.

‘Alive’는 크메르 루즈 정권 40년 이후 로컬 캄보디아 가족들에게 받은 오래된 사진과 평범한 사물을 통해 사적인 기억을 드러내기 위한 작업이다. 캄보디아에서 어린시절 이후 나의 부모, 형제 그리고 친척으로부터 그들이 공유하고 있는 과거와 고통스러운 경험에 대해 자주 들었다. 1975년 론 놀 정의 몰락 후 나의 부모는 그들의 배경을 알 수 있는 낡은 사진과 신분증 등을 모두 버렸다. 그러지 않았다면 교육을 받았다는 이유로 즉시 처형을 당했을 것이다. 그러나 어떤 사람들은 그들에게 가장 소중한 사랑하였던 사람과 사물을 기억한 사진을 간직하기 위해 목숨을 걸어야 했다. 나는 Alive 시리즈를 내 가족의 사적 기억을 통해 시작하였으나 나의 목표은 캄보디아 전역의 가족들로 확장되었다. 그것은 이제 서서히 사라져가는 증언과들의 시간 싸움이 되었다. 모든 사진들과 사물들은 깊은 의미를 지니고 있다. 그것들은 지난 역사 속 시간들의 증언이다. 전쟁은 희생자들을 죽일 수 있으나 생존자들의 기억을 지울 수 없다. 기억은 살아있으며 인간 존재에 대한 최근의 연구조사에 의해 알려지고 공유되고 있으며 다음 세대를 위한 유산으로 보존되고 있다.


About The Artist: Kim Hak

Born in Battambang City, in Northwestern of Cambodia. Hak is a full-time photographer whose work brings together storytelling and artistic aesthetic.
Hak has focused on several themes including survivor stories, the funeral of King Sihanouk, architectural documentations and also the changing landscape of his homeland. His work has been featured at art and photography festivals such as Photo Quai and Photo Saint Germain in Paris, Renaissance in Lille, World Event Young Artists in Nottingham, OFF_festival in Bratislava, Photo Kathmandu in Patan, Mt. Rokko International Photo Festival in Kobe, International Multimedia Art in Yangon, Photo Bangkok and ASEAN Eye Culture in Bangkok, Photo Phnom Penh, Histories of the Future in Phnom Penh, Angkor Photo Festival in Siem Reap, Singapore International Photography Festival, Ballarat International Foto Biennale in Victoria, and Auckland Festival of Photography. His photographs have been exhibited in Canada, The United States, France, Great Britain, Netherlands, Slovakia, Nepal, Japan, Hong Kong, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand. His portfolio has been featured in several international well-known publications throughout his career.

For more infomation please visit his Website:

Site Designed & hosted by Wake Up Working