"UN/DRESS" by Sarah Lim | The Artist Is Not Present No.001

This past month we presented the first in a series of shows, The Artist Is Not Present, showcasing the works of artists from around the world that we've met through our travels and through the internet.

Sarah Lim is a Sydney, Australia based artist we met through Tumblr. Working with digitally manipulated intricately hand drawn illustrations, "UN/DRESS" explored themes surrounding clothing, and the intimacy within the act of dressing/undressing. "UN/DRESS" was created during Sarah's time living in Japan.

Prints are available in shop until the end of April, zines ($20) and patches ($10) are available in shop and by email to info@fourhorsemen.ca
4 Questions w/ Sarah Lim

"UN/DRESS" examines themes surrounding clothing and intimacy; what are your views regarding clothing and the act of dressing/undressing?

Whether you subscribe to the idea or not, clothing and the act of dressing has become an imperative component in contemporary life - even anti-fashion is its own kind of fashion, right? Different modes of dress or style signify certain things in specific contexts. It could be a case of thinking about it too much but the act of dressing is almost like the axis between self-expression and the perception of your identity from an external perspective. I think I wrote it in the process notes for the show where undressing feels like an act of honesty, but instead of thinking about it in direct parallels in which dressing is being dishonest, it’s more about the creation and demonstration of an authentic self that feels at ease in the given surroundings. Arguably, authenticity and inauthenticity are both sincere gestures.

When we reached out to you over Tumblr, you were just about to move to Japan, and now you're back in Sydney. Do you find with art and life more generally, physical location is becoming nonissue? 

I think because of the internet, geographical boundaries become less of an issue for the promotion and distribution of work (and life) but also nothing beats being in a physical proximity to others - having an exhibition overseas without being there in person still feels kind of unreal. It’s really great to have such easy and quick access to information but maybe I’m old-fashioned. I still like to experience life in a physically tangible way, haha.

Top 4 favourite things to do in Sydney on a day off?

-Eating in a food court in chinatown
-finding new stuff to read both online and in physical print form
-visiting the fernery/cactus garden in the botanical gardens
-just sitting in the park with a coffee

What's been something or someone you've listened to/read/watched lately that you've been really into?

Recently I keep listening to The Trilogy Tapes NTS Radio show from the 31st of March, it starts with some old funk/disco but then turns into weird space sounds halfway through, haha. I picked up this copy of Purple Prose (which is now Purple Magazine) from 1996 in Japan which I’m currently re-reading. Even though it was published 20 years ago, the articles (and even some of the styling and layout design) still feel relevant - if you can find a copy I recommend reading the interview with Chiaki Tamura or the article about the parallel between architecture and PCs.

Check out more from Sarah Lim here:

Photos: Drew Tostenson

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