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Symmetrical Sanctuary Part #6

Symmetrical Sanctuary Part #6
signed and dated ‘christine 09'; titled ‘symmetrical sanctuary part #6' (lower left)
mixed media on canvas
72 x 140 cm. (28 3/8 x 55 1/8 in.)
Executed in 2009
Anon. Sale, Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 8 April 2008, Lot 613
Acquired from the above sale by the present owner

Brought to you by

Jessica Hsu
Jessica Hsu

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Lot Essay

Christine Ay Tjoe is one of Indonesia's most prominent contemporary artists to date, garnering international acclaim for her extensive body of work. Her paintings and drawings are immediately recognisable, reflecting her unique creative spirit through the emotional intensity and mature lyricism of her works. Undeniably beautiful regardless of the forms they take, her paintings may be viewed as an existential analysis of the subconscious, a pairing of ego and mind to unveil the inner workings of her psyche.

Symmetrical Sanctuary Part #6 (Lot 122) puts emphasis on Ay Tjoe's sophisticated line work that highlights her fondness for drawing. Like a heap of formless lines from afar, Ay Tjoe's line work appears artistic and expressive, though they are never truly as impulsive as they might seem. Great consideration is taken wherever lines are placed as they bring meaning to an otherwise blank canvas. Unlike her later works that explode with the intensity of her chosen colour palette, the present lot is very minimalist in that respect, staying within the spectrum of black and white, with the occasionally washes of sienna and vermillion as accents across the canvas.

A man with a greying face and a bulbous nose points two scrawny fingers towards the left, while the central figure drips crimson paint, enhancing his pain and discomfort in a bent position. In the background, another man has his arms outstretched and pointed in either direction while a figure kneels in fear before him. It is curious to see these people recoil at the sight of figures of authority, and perhaps this is Ay Tjoe's commentary on the structures that form our society. Just as a poet employs language to create meaning, Ay Tjoe's lines, forms, and colours help to ground her thoughts and emotions in two-dimensional reality. Regardless, she asserts no limits on one's interpretation and allows her work and its many layers of meaning to bear the significance we place upon it.

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