Sarah Tse (b.1985)

Sarah’s elaborate pencil drawings have often been described as whimsical and sensual in nature, her inspiration continues to be derived from childhood memories, personal travels and fleeting dreams. She draws 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 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 by Perspective Magazine in Asia as a winner of ‘40 Under 40’, cementing her reputation as one of the outstanding artists under the age of 40 in Asia. Sarah also participatedseveral residency projects in Asia – Beppu in Kyushu Japan with P3 art and environment, Shiseido Co., Ltd and Sasakawa Foundation, Tainan in Taiwan with Tainan Tourism Department, Shanghai in China with Office339 Gallery, etc. Sarah’s artworks were also exhibited in numerous international art fairs such as 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), etc. Sarah’s drawings are also in the permanent museum collection of the V&A Museum in London, Ingram Collection at the Lightbox in Surrey, UK and other private collections in Asia. Sarah Tse also curated exhibition in recent years, her recent curated exhibition ‘Finding Utopia’ was part of the Hong Kong Art Basel week in Hong Kong in 2016.

In the beginning of Sarah’s artistic journey, she only used pencil and paper, the most basic tool, to create her monochrome fantasy. In recent years, she has been developing unique surfaces by collaging layers of different materials : recycled paper, lace, grass, cloth, sand, resin, moulding paste on wood panels. These unconventional surfaces createsa huge contrast against the delicate monochrome pencil sketches,lightweight watercolor and egg tempera, shifting the traditional perspective of flat drawing towards a more sculptural touch. In 2016, Sarah developed a mobile application with French interactive designer Remi Engel. Using AR technology, audiences can watch her paintings come to life through vision and sound, breaking the traditional way of looking a flat painting through technology.

Another important element to Sarah’s work is her handmade papers. She collects papers from all over the world every time she travels, soak them in glue and water with recycle 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. Moreover, Sarah loves to draw on white walls. Walls provide a canvas that lacks the vulnerability of paper, yet giving a transient quality similar in nature to dreams- a vital element in her drawings Sarah seeks to recreate these dreams in an alternate realm through her sketches, a world where people escape from reality and remain innocent.

Sarah lives and works in New York City.

email: sarahtse@sarahtse.com