Atsuko Barouh: De-Nude

White Conduit Projects presents De-Nude by Islington-based artist, Atsuko Barouh. Following a long-term career as a gallerist in Tokyo, Atsuko is now a full-time artist in London. The drawings on show in this exhibition are un-sexualised depictions of the bare naked form. The female nude form has been subjected to centuries of powerful narratives. Atsuko draws female forms using vigorous brush strokes merging themes of myth, personal experiences, social scenes, sexuality and humour.

Atsuko’s visceral brush-stroke figures have an almost abstract quality, embracing many elements of Japanese calligraphy. In Japan, the art of calligraphy was influenced by Zen philosophy. Written with a brush and ink, it leaves an indelible mark: there is no possibility to delete or fix what the ink has traced, directly reflecting the calligrapher‘s state of mind. Since autumn 2019, Atsuko has been going to a pole dancing show held on Monday evenings at an old strip club in Shoreditch. At first, unsure how to react and what to feel, she made several return visits including on International Women’s Day. She had an epiphany, “I realised that they had an expression of pride on their faces. And furthermore, I was surprised by how they seemed to be having fun. How come they were so high spirited and full of self-confidence? It was a mystery to me.” This experience prompted Atsuko to start the Ame-no-Uzume series. The nude forms are a departure from what is commonly known as feminine, and are depicted as earthy.

Ame-no-Uzume is the celestial goddess in Japanese mythology. She performed a dance exposing her breasts and private parts during a cheerful banquet, thus enticing the angry sun goddess Amaterasu out of the cave in which she was hiding herself, depriving the world of light. Tempted by Ame-no-Uzume’s vitality and fertility, the sun returned and reawakened life on earth. During lockdown, Atsuko has been on fire, continuing to draw people in her local parks in east London, sometimes for eight hours non-stop. The drawings are intuitive and the artist is drawn to spontaneous activity.

These works will be updated on White Conduit Projects website weekly.
10% of profits will be donated to Tibetan Children’s Projects (TCP) in Kathmandu. mail:

Atsuko Barouh: De-Nude
Online viewing room

White Conduit Projects
1 White Conduit Street Islington London N1 9EL
+44 (0)775 448 6068
By appointment only

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