Christine Ay Tjoe

b. 1973 in Bandung, Indonesia
Lives and works in Bandung, Indonesia

In her expressionist paintings, works on paper, and sculptures Indonesian contemporary artist Christine Ay Tjoe explores the human condition and its desires as well as the interconnectivity of humanity and nature.

Having studied painting at the Bandung Institute of Technology, graduating in 1997, she began her career as a graphic artist, working with intaglio dry point prints and drawing inspiration from the plant life in her surroundings. Whether working on canvas or paper, drawing is integral to Christine Ay Tjoe’s practice. In her 2018 interview with Studio International, the artist said that she “will always treat every medium as paper and pencil”. The influence of drawing is indeed evident in Ay Tjoe’s paintings, which combines expressive lines of her prints and drawings with swathes of colour and watery glazes in paint.

Ay Tjoe primarily works with earthy tones and deep reds, alluding to emotions through colour. In the oil painting ‘Greed and Greed 1’ (2016), for example, dark washes of black are tinged with green, forming the body of what could be a dragon or a hound-like monster. The creature appears to be devouring everything around it, depicted in shots of red and pieces of pale grey around it.

In her delicate works, Ay Tjoe aims to create various sensory experiences depending on how the viewer chooses to interpret the colour, form, and movement. She embraces the emergence of characters or creatures that form spontaneously in her paintings, using them as representatives for forces of authority and higher beings. Her works are a reflection of her inner thoughts and happenings in her personal life.

Her contemporary paintings have received high appreciation abroad, especially in Asia. In 2017 her painting entitled ‘Small Flies and Other Wings’ was sold for HK$ 11.7Mio by the Phillips auction house in Hong Kong, which placed her works among the most expensive living Indonesian artists. The painting depicts life and death visualized by a swarm of flies. The prices for paintings of Christine remain high, in 2021 her painting ‘Second Studio’ from 2013 was sold by Sotheby’s for HK$ 7.4Mil in Hong Kong.

Country: Indonesia
Additional Information: CV