Sailing Along the Lifeline by Mui-Ling Teh


I currently have bulks of postcards on hand of this image among various others that I can sell cheaper to customers within the Greater Toronto Area. Learn more here


Rowing through the passage of time
In an adventure along the lifeline

A sailboat folded out of a 6×10mm piece of paper rowing along the lifeline in my palm. Wow I didn’t realize my hand had all these lines :P. I didn’t turn this into a black and white this time because I managed to get a cool light on my hand (natural light) to make it more water like – so this makes my first colored miniature origami pic.

The flow of life is parallel to a journey off the land. It begins smooth, then the waves of adulthood brings high tides which we must overcome, However at the end of the ride, everything is smooth again. Ironically the lifeline in my palm depicts this flow; it begins smooth, then there is a big split and begin to ruffle, but towards the end it comes back together again.

I personally am not near the end yet; just experiencing the beginning of a rough tide.

views: 12689 as of August 31, 2013
favs: 58

My origami calendar
This concept was originally generated and uploaded in May 2008, but I bought a tripod later on and re-shot this on September 2, 2009 using the timer on my camera (an Olympus FE-340), and replaced the image alone. Not very different from the one uploaded before except this one is clearer.

For a better idea of scale

This work has been featured in:
Two Word Challenge
Alphabet Soup



Mui-Ling Teh – Art and Words from the Heart



Facebook Twitter Google + Instagram


Copyright notice:

© Mui-Ling Teh. All rights reserved.


My art and writing do not belong to the public domain. Materials may not be reproduced, uploaded, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, copied, edited or published in any form or by any means without my permission. Any site using my images against my conditions have not sought proper permission and should be reported or brought to my attention immediately.


Find my other stores, as well as my facebook, twitter, Google, Instagram + and more on my website:

Mui-Ling Teh – Art and Words from the Heart

© Copyright Mui-Ling Teh. All rights reserved. My art and writing do not belong to the public domain. Materials may not be reproduced, uploaded, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, copied, edited or published in any form or by any means without my written permission.

View Full Profile


  • butchart
    butchartalmost 7 years ago

    very cool………. it puts a single life in perspective to the vast spectrum of life and universes that surround it…………….b

  • Thanks for the insightful comment b. I wanted to have a narrative for this, but it was so hard to put into words. Hopefully commenters will come by and give me ideas.

    – Mui-Ling Teh

  • Nancy Polanski
    Nancy Polanskialmost 7 years ago

    Fantastic!! I do not know how you can accomplish this! It’s a truly phenomenal talent!

  • Thank you Nancy. The sailboat is easier than the crane; as long as I don’t go ridiculously small I guess :P

    – Mui-Ling Teh

  • edlogsdon
    edlogsdonalmost 7 years ago

    6×10 isn’t really small?lol wonderful presentation of your outstanding work.

  • lol, thank you my friend. Well what I meant was that typically the sailboat is easier to fold that the crane; however the sailboat has a repetitive process of small overlapping folds, which has to stay in place while being flattened or pulled apart, so when it gets small to a certain point, it is harder to fold than the crane.

    – Mui-Ling Teh

  • Lam Tran
    Lam Tranalmost 7 years ago

    Excellent capture! Excellent focus, great detail that I can see your life line, You will life a wonderful life. Great folding! I really want to see the crane sailing on the boat next my friend! Well done! Excellent series of works!

  • Great idea my friend! Hopefully people aren’t tired of my little crane yet :P The summer of 2005 my grandaunt in Japan said I have to watch myself when I turn 40… (This was after finishing first year university; after hearing that I pulled a bunch of all nighters in school she wanted to see my palm) I visited her again after my internship last summer and she said I have a destiny.

    – Mui-Ling Teh

  • paulscar
    paulscaralmost 7 years ago


  • Lori H
    Lori Halmost 7 years ago

    wow, this is fantastic!

  • Why thank you Lori :)

    – Mui-Ling Teh

  • mieclarke
    mieclarkealmost 7 years ago

    wow….amazing shot Mui-Ling!

  • Irene  Burdell
    Irene Burdellalmost 7 years ago

    This is just amazing , how much smaller can they be ?

  • Thanks Irene. I first attemted to fold out of a 6×4mm, but to that extent, it was even harder than the crane; usually the sailboat is easier than the crane (if you see my reply to edlogsdon, you may see what I mean). My smallest crane was 6×6mm, so that is smaller than this.

    – Mui-Ling Teh

  • © Karin  Taylor
    © Karin Tayloralmost 7 years ago

    incredible Mui-Ling…just incredible
    and beautifully executed idea and image
    i think you’re onto something wonderful!!

  • Thank you Karin. I think I’m better presenting as idea through visuals than I am with words. I’m thankful for the comments I get here; sometimes they tell me things I didn’t realize before of just had a hard time putting into words.

    – Mui-Ling Teh

  • DesImages
    DesImagesalmost 7 years ago

    This photo is a lovely metaphor for our journey through life. It’s a great consept and very well executed.

  • Thank you DesImages, and you’re absolutely right. I don’t know if you can see it here, but the line on my hand begins smoothly, then it starts getting ruffled up; I think that reflects what I’ve been through. I feel like the ruffled up portion represents the time I began university; seriously. My life line splits somewhere in the middle, but then it starts getting back together towards the end. It’s not as smooth as the beginning , but it is a “recovery”. I do think that is how my life seems to be flowing. The beginning of university was a very drastic period of my life. I feel it will affect me forever, however things are not as bad now as they were then.

    – Mui-Ling Teh

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

10%off for joining

the Redbubble mailing list

Receive exclusive deals and awesome artist news and content right to your inbox. Free for your convenience.