Christine Ay Tjoe at White Cube Bermondsey

The Indonesian artist's first solo exhibition since joining the gallery
By Ian Tee

Christine Ay Tjoe, 'The Comrade', 2018, oil on canvas, 190 x 210cm. Photograph by Theo Christelis. Image courtesy of the artist and White Cube.

Christine Ay Tjoe, 'The Comrade', 2018, oil on canvas, 190 x 210cm. Photograph by Theo Christelis. Image courtesy of the artist and White Cube.

White Cube Bermondsey presents a solo exhibition by Christine Ay Tjoe, one of Indonesia's most prominent female artists. Titled 'Black, kcalB, Black, kcalB', the show is the artist’s first exhibition since joining the gallery. It brings together new paintings as well as drawings on aluminium plates which explore the idea of darkness and deep psychological fears. Ay Tjoe is one of two Southeast Asian artists represented by White Cube, alongside Vietnam-born Danh Vō.

Formally trained in intaglio drypoint, drawing continues to be central in Ay Tjoe's work with a focus on bold gestural lines and stark negative space. A series of works on aluminium mark her return to this practice, while the lyrical paintings in this show are a continuation from the large scale works presented in her 2016 'Inside the White Cube' exhibition. Particularly, this new body of work display a shift from the artist's use of vibrant colours, predominantly blood reds, to an earthier palette.

Ay Tjoe was recently the subject of a major retrospective 'Spirituality and Allegory' at 21st Century Museum of Art, Kanazawa. Her works entered the auction market in 2006 with increased interest after 2010.  The oil on canvas 'Small Flies and Other Wings' (2013) achieved an auction record of USD1,244,510 at Phillips Hong Kong in May 2017.

‘Black, kcalB, Black, kcalB' opens at White Cube Bermondsey on 28 November 2018 and continues until 20 January 2019.