(Indonesian, B. 1973)
Bertiga #5
signed and dated 'Christine 06' (lower right)
acrylic on canvas
120 x 130 cm. (47 1/4 x 51 1/8 in.)
Painted in 2006
This lot is accompanied by a certificate from Edwin's Gallery.

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Felix Yip
Felix Yip

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Lot Essay

Intimations of loss, longing, and spiritual trauma are divulged by Indonesian-born Christine Ay Tjoe. Exorcising perceptions of emotional and religious forebearance within her deeply personal artistic journeys, the artist relieves themes of Catholic sensibilities, figural violence and bodily consumption. The end result of her cathartic gestures are manifested in startling quality upon her canvases; taking the shape of abstract, barely human figures stretching out gauzy, bleeding fingers raking down the spatial planes. Otherwise they merge together in spectral celebration of the eucharist, an ecstatic rejoicing in the union of physical self with a godly host. Abstinence, suffering, and metaphysical transformation are primary subjects within Ay Tjoe's artistic impulses; however there is always the redeeming aspect of a sort of spiritual absolvency.
Removable Party (Lot 1470) is an illuminating representation from Ay Tjoe's 'party' series of works; a narrative on the excessive consumption of the feast. The aura of righteous celebration is juxtaposed against the merest hint of debauchery as the goblets of ruby red liquor are raised high in salute. Also implied are the dilemmas of faith and religion through the act of holy communion within a Catholic mass. The finely wrought composition of the splayed and dynamic figures testify to the artist's skill in capturing tangible mementos of humanity despite a somewhat esoteric subject matter.
The same can be said of Bertiga #5 (Lot 1575), otherwise known as part of the Eksekusi (Execution) series. The three human shapes bound together within the tangled mesh of limbs and bodily structures represent a psychological, rather than physical, dimension of existence and imprisonment. Highlighted with crimson and soft pink contrasts, as though bringing to mind flesh and blood, the work gives risible form to the artist's theme of mortal captivity.
Perspektif 01 (Lot 1469) represents the latest evolution in Ay Tjoe's visual palette: a motley conflation of red and pink based abstract shapes, bound together by a linear harmony as it descends across the exquisite emptiness of the canvas. Barely lucid are the characteristic extensions of scarlet hands and fingers, creeping out from behind the tattered shards of the central configuration. This new artistic direction allows Ay Tjoe to explore with greater intensity the floating textures of shattered, then reconstructed physiological systems against the spatial backdrop, creating a compositional masterpiece of almost architectural balance and precision.
L3 (Lot 1576) is from a much acclaimed body of works presented in 2005. One of Ay Tjoe's more representative canvases, the eerie presence of a human face arising out of a miasma of hazy shapes and red-drenched lines evokes a sense of existential fixity. The haunting quality of this work is mitigated by the rich layering of detail and the nearly classical profiling of the eyes and nose, as though drawing from a life study.
One of the strongest and most refined examples of Ay Tjoe's ink and drypoint works of paper, Bersepuluh #2 (Lot 1577) is a study of the amalgamation of the human form through linear sparseness and great technical dexterity. Stripped down to literally bare bones, the group embrace of the figures as they ebb and flow into each other reflect the holistic sanguinity of Ay Tjoe's evaluation of human life.

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