Sarah Tse (b.1985)
Sarah’s elaborate pencil drawings have often been described as whimsical and sensual in nature, her inspiration continues to be drawn from childhood memories, personal travels and fleeting dreams. She brings an array of paradoxical patterns and images that evoke a delicate, nostalgic and often disturbing ambience to her drawings. Images of square robots, towering stacks of teacups, innocent woodland creatures, and sensuous blooming roses are omnipresent.
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Sarah graduated with a BA in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins College in London in 2009. She then began exhibiting her drawings to crowds in New York, London, Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, Taipei and other cities.
In 2011, Sarah was awarded a winner of ‘40 Under 40’ in Asia by Perspective Magazine, cementing her reputation as an outstanding artist under the age of 40. Sarah also participated in several residency projects in Asia – ‘人も物も、すべてゆかしき、奇妙な驚きの物語り’ in Beppu, Kyushu Japan, collaborated with P3 art and environment, and sponsored by Shiseido Co., Ltd and Sasakawa Foundation; 台喃細語 in Tainan, Taiwan sponsored by Tainan Tourism Department; ‘Shanghai And Its Talisman’ in Shanghai China and collaborated with Office339 Gallery.
Sarah’s artworks were also exhibited in numerous international art fairs such as Jing Art Beijing (2019), London Art Fair (2011 & 2012), Scope Art Fair New York (2015), Affordable Art Fair London (2012), Affordable Art Fair Seoul (2015), Taipei Art Expo (2014). Sarah’s drawings are also on display in London’s V&A permanent museum collection, the Ingram Collection at the Lightbox in Surrey, UK and other private collections around Asia.
At the beginning of Sarah’s artistic journey in 2009-2012, she only used the most basic tools, pencil and paper, to create her monochrome fantasies. Between 2012-2017 Sarah was addicted to papermaking in her bathtub. Every time she travels, she collects paper from all over the world, eventually soaking them in glue and water with recycled materials such as leaves, newspapers, disposable packaging and tissues.
The deckled edges of the handmade papers establish a grotesque yet timeless state for Sarah’s mysterious animals, erotic plants, vintage machines and other strange objects. Since 2016, she has been developing unique surfaces by collaging layers of different materials: recycled paper, lace, grass, cloth, sand, resin and moulding paste on wood panels. These unconventional surfaces create a huge contrast against the delicate monochrome pencil sketches, lightweight watercolour and egg tempera, shifting the traditional perspective of flat drawing towards a more sculptural realm.
In 2016, Sarah developed a mobile application with a French interactive designer. Using AR technology, audiences can watch her paintings come to life through movement and sound, breaking the traditional way of looking at a flat painting.
Moreover, Sarah loves to draw on white walls. Walls provide a canvas that lacks the vulnerability of paper, yet gives a transient quality similar in nature to dreams – a vital element in her drawings. Sarah seeks to recreate these dreams in an alternate expanse through her sketches, a world where people escape from reality and remain innocent.
Sarah now shuttles between New York City, London and Shanghai.