Ay Tjoe Christie's Layers for the Circle is a beautiful, complex and indiscernible labyrinth. A myriad of planes in varying sizes and different shades of red are entwined with bright white and muted grey amorphous facets by staccato tendrils. From the lightest nude and blush to rich tones of vermillion, cadmium, scarlet, and ruby, the colours overlap and enmesh together into a mixture of opaque and translucent planes, like fragments of memories that do not make sense on their own but create a strong impression and sensation as a whole. With colour and texture that are reminiscent of flesh, the painting is permeated by raw emotion, as if all shells are ripped away, confronting the viewer with only the most intense vulnerability. Observing it feels voyeuristic, as if being exposed to someone's innermost secrets, yet the viewer cannot help being completely mesmerized.
Scattered and embedded within the layers are a multitude of circles; large, small, thick and thin, they represent a new breakthrough for Ay Tjoe Christine, whose works had been largely a combination of angular and linear forms. In her statement Ay Tjoe Christine said, "Layers are like a container to keep all things that can be asserted to the unknown future. I place a flexible 'rule' in the shape of a circle, because the principles in which life is built upon will continuously grow and can be created personally, and I deem that to be an important activity."
Although Christine rarely reveals a direct interpretation about her work, her statement expresses the importance of growth and change in her personal journey. A circle, by nature, has no end, and using the symbol as her "rule" suggests a commitment to constantly improve herself while facing the changes and challenges in life.
For Christine, the act of painting is more than just a creative expression; it is also a spiritual one. Layers For The Circles is a true example of the artist's incomparability. It is poignant in its fragility yet incredibly strong because of the courage it took to reveal it with such soul-baring honesty. Ay Tjoe Christine's work is like a personal memoir and is, in many ways, a blueprint for her to evaluate her life, emotion, hopes and dreams, and ultimately, to evolve and to become better. For as the great Aristotle said, "Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom."
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