Ode to a Beautiful Nude

THE nude is every painter’s exercise, a master’s valuable series. The breadth and depth of variety and potential of the appropriated and actual woman is best expounded in the female nude. In the exhibit Ode to a Beautiful Nude,

Sequi Cu Unjieng gently inspects and celebrates this puzzle of womanhood, this enigma of an empire.

The exhibit is Sequi speaking as a woman about women.

The beauty of the woman is exuded in the austere elements that make up each frame of the series. The image of Sequi’s women is without pomp, sans brash surfaces of social identity. In her aim to strip the woman of anything that would possibly lead to a superficial grasp, Sequi produces an expanse of identity. Her nudes perform the various layers of the woman, somewhat becoming sites where at one time or another, our own faces emerge from Sequi’s faceless figures.

Each nude is not set apart by particular physical features but through a vibe, a pose, or a gesture, the subject’s significant trait is revealed. Sequi chooses to depict the anonymous women as they walk away, confront, mingle and dream. Ode to a Beautiful Nude astutely identifies such layers that women encompass—at times extremes, at best complementary.

The identities of the sitters are unknown. In this ambiguity, the nudes become one consistent woman in every frame—and not. They are figures that become the collective woman—women—and the individual woman. As they are stripped of any indication of roles—mother, daughter, friend, lover, worker, martyr, kontrabida — what is magnified is the intersection of the many contradictory qualities in every woman.

Ode to a Beautiful Nude is Sequi’s first solo exhibition.


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