...to See the White Land

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  • Provenance

    Arndt Contemporary Art (acquired directly from the artist in 2012)
    Private Collection, Australia
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Sydney, ARNDT, MIGRATION, 27 March - 10 July 2012
    Melbourne, ARNDT, MIGRATION MELBOURNE EDITION, 30 October - 15 December 2012
    Berlin, Arndt Art Agency A3, No Image, 27 January - 7 April 2017

  • Catalogue Essay

    Internationally recognised for her visually arresting and thought-provoking pieces, Christine Ay Tjoe is one of Southeast Asia’s most prominent contemporary artists. Known for her distinctly intricate visual language, Ay Tjoe’s beautifully introspective compositions are at once loud and contemplative, drawing from a diverse range of philosophical and spiritual references that simultaneously manifest the artist’s inner turmoil while speaking to the universal nature of human emotions. Her ability to evoke a quiet strength in the delicateness of her line work is born out of her foundational training as a graphic artist. Sinuously curved or deadly straight, erratically jagged or swift and smooth, Ay Tjoe’s technical mastery of the drypoint technique allows her to imbue her lines with a character and life of their own, through merely varying the pressure applied by her wrists. These lines that grace the canvas have the power to assume abstract shapes that, while inherently distant, register as familiar to the mind of the viewer.

    The present lot, …to See the White Land, is a work exemplary of Ay Tjoe’s inspired visual lyricism, embodying some of the best qualities of Ay Tjoe’s masterworks. A mass of white hovers near the centre of the canvas, suspended in the bone-coloured backdrop of negative space. Around it, erratic eruptions ensue, of odd-shaped patches of bright colour, deceivingly inviting in flirtatious whispers of pale pinks and ochre, accented with the shouts of the artist’s signature vermillion dashes, and jolted by an aggressive swatch of magenta. So exquisitely balanced is Ay Tjoe’s palette that she tempers the cacophony of the loud colours with soothing cool greys and dusty blues.

    Though Ay Tjoe’s works are honest, intimate expressions of her personal struggles and internal thoughts, they are also able to resonate deeply with their viewers as they welcome different interpretations, precisely because of the abstract nature of the composition. Where, or what is this white land that we seek? …to See the White Land questions the intent behind our journey, for the destination is clearly in sight and within reach, but we find ourselves constantly distracted, pulling away from our true objective. An artist of Catholic upbringing, the work perhaps also calls to mind Psalm 68:14, “When the Almighty scattered kings in it, it was white as snow in Zalmon”. The painting thus transforms into one of hope, where snow falls on the Black Mountain (Mount Zalmon) and transforms into the white land. In a display of her staggering expressivity, Ay Tjoe illustrates the commotion in a quivering, violent mass of fizzling colour, continually drawing us away from the purity and stability that the white land symbolises. Meanwhile, the white land floats undisturbed in the negative space that Ay Tjoe has left bare as a visual respite, amidst all the noise that surrounds. In contemplating varying points of calm and tension, Ay Tjoe leaves us to ponder on the philosophical, to consider our individual journeys and where we intend for them to lead us.

  • Catalogue Essay

    克里絲汀‧艾珠是東南亞當代藝術裡一位重要的藝術家,其作品觸動視覺及引人遐思的風格聞名國際,透過細膩的視覺語言,她優美靜謐的構圖有著既撼動人心卻又讓人沉澱的衝突力量,作品廣泛內涵了許多哲學及靈學的典故,不僅在訴說著她個人內在的情緒動盪,同時也延伸到所有人類共同與生俱來的內在情感。透過纖細的筆觸,艾珠的作品總是散發著一股寧靜的力量,這也與她曾受過平面設計的訓練有所關聯。無論是蜿蜒的曲線、嚴謹的直線,或是不穩定的抖動、亦或快速而流暢的線條,過去在銅版畫的創作也讓她對線條技法有著極高的掌控度,在她手腕施力微妙的或輕或重之間,為線條注入了生命與性格。畫布上優雅的線條雖是抽象,卻能深深緊扣著觀者內心所熟悉的一隅。

    《…為了看白色的土地》一作正是艾珠獨特視覺抒情美學的體現,具備了她所有精湛作品的重要元素。作品以骨瓷色作為背景,一片偌大的白色懸浮在畫面的中央,而在其四周,則是突生出許多不同奇形怪狀的明亮小色塊,向外招引著幾抹粉紅及赭黃,加上幾筆艾珠招牌的朱紅,再用了氣勢洶湧的紫紅色撼動著畫面。但她卻又巧妙地加入一些冷調的灰色及灰藍,中和了其他紛紛攘攘的色彩所形成的不和諧,達到完美平衡的色彩表現。

    雖然艾珠的作品以忠實傳達個人內心經歷的掙扎與思緒做為出發點,但卻也能深深打動她的觀者,因為她作品抽象構圖的本質開啟了不同解讀方式的可能性。《…為了看白色的土地》帶著觀者去反思我們每段旅程的意圖,雖然目的地其實已經隨手可及就在眼前,人們卻往往分散了注意力,因而與初衷漸行漸遠。透過看似懾人的表現手法,艾珠描繪著顫動的、充滿暴力又嘶聲咆嘯的色塊,隱喻那股無形力量不斷拉扯著人們,因而無法到達代表著純粹與穩定的白色之地。在一切的紛攘中,艾珠將白色之地浮懸在留白空間,以達在視覺上舒緩的目的。在平和及張力之間,艾珠留予觀者一個哲學沉思的機會,重思自己所踏上的旅途以及真正想去的地方。

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Property of an Important European Collector

...to See the White Land

2012
signed and dated 'Christine 12' lower right; further signed and dated 'ay tjoe Christine 2012' on the reverse
oil on canvas
149.8 x 124.9 cm. (58 7/8 x 49 1/8 in.)
Painted in 2012.

Estimate
HK$1,900,000 - 2,900,000 
€204,000-312,000
$244,000-372,000

sold for HK$5,260,000

Contact Specialist
Jonathan Crockett
Deputy Chairman, Asia and Head of 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Asia
+852 2318 2023

Isaure de Viel Castel
Head of Department
+852 2318 2011

Sandy Ma
Head of Sale
+852 2318 2025

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Evening Sale

Hong Kong Auction 27 May 2018