Delving deep into the personal, the works of Christine Ay Tjoe are centered around the artist's immediate personal experiences and preoccupations. 3-2 #07 (Lot 443) revolves about notions of spiritual suffering and redemption and is one of the artist's most emotionally affective painting completed in the recent couple of years. Painted in 2010, the work straddles other bodies of work focused on the spiritual, for instance, the Lama Sabakthani Club works Ay Tjoe first exhibited in Bandung in 2010 and her continuing Layers body of paintings.
Born in Bandung, Indonesia, Ay Tjoe studied at the Faculty of Visual Art and Design at the Institute Technology of Bandung. Upon graduation in 1997, she gained success as a fashion designer specializing in textiles and returned to her artistic practice in early 2000. Her extensive experimentation with dry-point steered her to exploit the expressive potential of the line in her subsequent works. An introvert, Ay Tjoe finds solace in the physical practices of art-making which allows her to channel her perceptions and emotions about life in a fashion that is particular and private. Thematically and visually, her works are delicate and fragile and reveal an inner world full of private thoughts, melancholy, struggle, pain and happiness.
3-2 #07 combines many of the characteristic visual elements of Ay Tjoe's recent productions - the inclination to apply layers as a signifier of accumulated experience or emotion; the preservation of the line as the ultimate expressive device; and finally the disclosure of thoughts through text. An amorphous mass floats in the centre of the composition, composed of a formidable strewn of crimson red lines on layers of red and soft pink decisively applied with the palette knife. Out of the hazy mass emerges distinctly identifiable elements - a lifted hand wielding a palette knife, presumably that of the artist; a face distinguishable by the tip of its nose and a pursed mouth. Ay Tjoe relieves themes of Catholic sensibilities, figural violence and bodily consumption in her works and 3-2 #07, with its oblique reference to Biblical passages, is a key work in this continuing exploration.