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SU KWAK view images

Born in Busan, Korea, Su Kwak grew up near the seashore and the mountains of her native country. She moved to the United States in 1973 to attend college at the University of St. Thomas in Houston and later completed her MFA with honors at the University of Chicago. Kwak is represented by the June Kelly Gallery in Soho, New York City, and the Sun Gallery in Seoul.

Based in nature, memories of moon and water, waves and mountains, Kwak’s abstract paintings yield a metaphoric message of healing – of relieving suffering and desolation by restoring life to spiritual as well as physical health. On close examination of the painting surfaces, one begins to fathom the complexity of their construction. Quite strikingly, Kwak often cuts and stitches the surfaces of her canvases. There are positive and negative shapes of canvas, cut out and reapplied. In the words of Whitney Museum Curator Elisabeth Sussman, Kwak’s “paintings, both in the acts of their making and in our acts of contemplating them, have the power to heal.”

Kwak’s paintings are represented in numerous museum collections in Korea, most notably in the prestigious National Contemporary Art Museum. She has had numerous solo and group exhibitions in the United States and Korea. Her recent solo exhibitions include “Light and Time,” shown at the June Kelly Gallery in SoHo and the Sun Gallery in Seoul in 2009, “Healing Light,” a continuing series shown at the Sun Gallery in 2006 and the June Kelly Gallery in 2004, and “Light Series,” shown at the Jean Art Center in Seoul in 2002. Kwak has also had solo exhibitions at the Korean Cultural Service in New York, the Humphrey Gallery in New York and the Jan Cicero Gallery in Chicago.

In 2000, Kwak received an award from the Republic of Korea for helping to advance Korean culture overseas. The Maryland State Arts Council gave her an Individual Artist Award in 1998. She was selected for the World Calligraphy Biennial of Korea in 2003 and 2005. She also was selected for juried shows at the Three Rivers Art Festival, the Queens Museum and the Fine Arts Museum of Long Island. The U.S. State Department twice chose her for its “Art in Embassies” program, displaying her work at ambassador’s residences in Seoul and Geneva.

In 1982, Kwak was artist-in-residence at the Henry Street Settlement Arts for Living Center in New York City and in 1980, she received the Fairweather-Hardin Gallery Prize for excellence in the fine arts from the University of Chicago. In addition to painting, Kwak has published a memoir entitled Light in the Heart: Love and Art (2002). Born in Busan, Korea

1979 MFA., The University of Chicago, IL
1977 BA., The University of St. Thomas, Houston, TX

Light and Time: New Paintings, June Kelly Gallery, New York; catalogue Light and Time: New Paintings, Sun Art Center, Sun Gallery, Seoul, Korea; catalogue

Healing Light, Sun Art Center, Sun Gallery, Seoul, Korea; catalogue

Healing Light, June Kelly Gallery, New York; catalogue

Light Series, Jean Art Center, Seoul, Korea; catalogue

Beyond Light Series, Ellen Kim Murphy Gallery, Seoul, Korea; catalogue

Recent Paintings, Korean Cultural Service, Washington DC Recent Paintings, University of Maryland Gallery, College Park, MD

Double Vision, Gallery Korea, Korean Cultural Service, New York

Divided Light Series, Sun Gallery, Seoul, Korea; catalogue

Recent Paintings, Humphrey Gallery, New York Visions of East and West, University of Maryland Gallery, College Park, MD

Light Passages, Korean Cultural Service, Gallery Korea,
New York Inner Light Series, New York Academy of Sciences, traveled to University of Chicago, Midway Gallery, Chicago, IL; International House Club, World Trade Center, New Orleans, LA and American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, DC

Recent Paintings, Jan Cicero Gallery, Chicago, IL

The Burning Bush Series, Ward-Nasse Gallery, New York

The Burning Bush Series, Elmhurst College Gallery, Elmhurst, IL

Featured Artists, Andrews Art Museum, Andrews, North Carolina

Gallery Artists, Sun Gallery, Sun Art Center, Seoul, Korea

Pure and High: Lee Gyuill Collection, Lee’s Gallery, Seoul, Korea
New Acquisitions 2006, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Kwachon, Korea
Art DC International Art Fair, Gallery Athena-Paris, Washington, DC

The 1st Art & Welfare International Design Invitation, Gongju National Museum, Korea

Festival of World Written Languages: 5th World Calligraphy Biennale of Jeollabuk-do, Korea
New Material:Tyvek, Samwon Paper Gallery, Seoul, Korea
New York Eviction Blues, Asian American Art Centre, New York

A Universe of Art, organized by Corporate Art Directions, Credit Suisse First Boston, New York

Art for Art‘s Sake, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC
New Acquisitions, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea
4th World Calligraphy Biennale of Jeollabuk-do, Sori Arts Center, Jeon Ju, Korea
100 Year Anniversary of Korean Immigration to America, L.A. Hyun Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Contemporary Korean and Japanese Paintings, Jean Art Gallery, Seoul, Korea
Meditation, Gallery Light, Seoul, Korea

100 Artists’ Show, Gallery Light, Seoul, Korea
An Exhibition of Contemporary American Art in the Residence of Ambassador and Mrs.Thomas C. Hubbard, Art in Embassies Program, Seoul, Korea

24th Anniversary Show, Sun Gallery, Seoul, Korea

Seoul Art Fair, Seoul Arts Center, represented by Sun Gallery, Seoul, Korea

Contemporary American Women Artists, Art in Embassies Program, United States
Department of State Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament, Geneva, Switzerland official residence
Eat Art, Steinbaum Krauss Gallery, New York
New Wind: Korean American Artists, curated by Jack Rassmussen, Rockville Art Place, Maryland, traveled to the Maryland Art Place, Baltimore
Six Artists, Myung Sook Lee Gallery, New York
Contemporary American Art, Art in Embassies Program, Seoul, Korea
Asian American Women Artist, curated By Norma Cohen. New World Art Center, New York
Korean American Artists, curated by Deena Crosso, University College Arts Gallery, University of Maryland

20th Year Anniversary Show, Sun Gallery, Seoul, Korea
Summer Group Show, Marisa del Re Gallery, New York

Seoul International Art Fair '96, Seoul, Korea
Visions of the Next Generation, Seoul Arts Center Museum, Seoul, Korea
Summer Group Show, Marisa del Re Gallery, New York

A Celebration of Ten Years of the Art of Science and Technology, curated by Jeannette Murray, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, DC
Introductions, Kouros Gallery, New York
Inaugural Exhibition, the American Center for Physics, College Park, MD

Holiday Group Show, Kouros Gallery, New York
Gallery Artists, Sylvia Schmidt Gallery, New Orleans, LA
Art from America, Artempo Gallery, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Members' Gallery Show, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY

Summer Group Show, Marisa del Re Gallery, New York
111 International Artists for Peace, Gallery Bhak, Seoul, Korea
Building Bridges, International Monetary Fund Art Gallery, Washington, DC

The Landscape: Subject of Renewed Scrutiny, Foster Gallery, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Journeys, Martin Luther King Library, Washington, DC

Tenth Annual Juried Exhibition, Fine Arts Museum of Long Island, New York, juried by Caroline Adler, Grace Borgenicht Gallery, New York
Global Color, Women's Caucus for the Arts, Washington, DC
International Exhibition, George Mason University Gallery, Arlington, VA

International Artists Show, Martin Luther King Library, Washington, DC

Gallery Artists and Invitational, Katharina Rich Perlow Gallery, New York
China-June 4, 1989, Blum-Helman Gallery, New York

Three Rivers Arts Festival, Pittsburgh, PA, juried by Marge Goldwater of the Walker Art Center
5th Annual Open Studio Ten Chinatown Art Exhibition, Asian-American Arts Center, New York

Gallery Group Show, B.R. Kornblatt Gallery, Washington, DC

Exuberant Abstraction, Jan Cicero Gallery, Chicago, IL

Chicago Artists Show, Xerox Center, Chicago, IL

Inaugural Show of Gallery Artists, Jan Cicero Gallery, Chicago, IL
A Pebble for Peace, North Park Gallery, Chicago, IL

Art from Henry Street, City Gallery, New York Cultural Center, New York

Annual Juried Exhibition '82, the Queens Museum, New York, juried by April Kingsley of Sculpture Center of New York
Fifty Views of Art, Cork Gallery, Lincoln Center, New York
The Visual Arts at Henry Street, Henry Street Settlement Arts for Living Center, New York
Christmas Show, Ward-Nasse Gallery, New York
Brooklyn Conservatory of Music Summer Art Exhibition, New York
Art from Henry Street, Kingsborough Community College Art Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

Annual Juried Exhibition, St. John's University Art Gallery, Jamaica, NY

National Museum of Contemporary Art, Kwachon, Korea
Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea
Busan Metropolitan Museum of Art, Busan, Korea
Dae Lim Contemporary Art Museum, Seoul, Korea
Gwang Ju City Museum, Gwang Ju, Korea
Jeollabuk-do Cultural Department, Jeon Ju, Korea
Total Museum, Seoul, Korea
Youngeun Museum, Kwang Ju, Kyeonggi-do, Korea
Sun Art Center, Seoul, Korea
Jean Art Center, Seoul, Korea
Doosan Dong-A Co., Ltd. Seoul, Korea
Asian-American Arts Center New York
Korean Embassy, Washington, DC
Arthur Anderson, Chicago, IL
Hale and Dorr, Washington, DC
Hyatt Hotels, Oakbrook, IL
Seyfarth, Shaw, Fairweather & Geraldson, San Francisco, CA
Thrall, Inc. Chicago, IL

Award from the Korean Government for contributing to advancing Korean culture overseas

Individual Artist Award, Maryland State Arts Council

Artist in Residence, the Henry Street Settlement Arts for Living Center, New York

A warded Fairweather-Hardin Gallery Prize for Excellence in the Fine Arts, The University of Chicago

Exhibition Catalogues
2009 Sandy Kita, “Making Faith Real: Su Kwak’s Light and Time Series”, June Kelly Gallery, New York
Rhai Kyoung Park, “Kwak Su: New Paintings,” Sun Gallery, Sun Art Center
2006 Jae Ean Lee, “Su Kwak: Healing Light, Healing Painting,” Sun Art Center, Sun Gallery
2004 Elisabeth Sussman, “Su Kwak: Healing Light,” June Kelly Gallery, New York
2002 Bok Young Kim, “Conversation with Light: A New Series of Paintings by Su Kwak,” Jean Art Gallery
2001 Eleanor Heartney, “Su Kwak: Beyond Light and into Spirit,”
Ellen Kim Murphy Gallery Young Taek Park, “Su Kwak: Paintings Soaked with Light,” Ellen Kim Murphy Gallery
1996 Ku Yeol Lee, "Light Series: Hope and Peace," Sun Gallery
Dr. Ronny Cohen, "Su Kwak," Sun Gallery
1988 Marge Goldwater, “Juror’s Statements,” 29th Three Rivers Arts Festival
1982 April Kingsley, "Introduction," Annual Juried Exhibition '82, the Queens Museum

Articles and Reviews
2009 Choi, Tae Man, “Su Kwak’s Exhibition,”Art in Culture, December, p.175
Suh, Sung Rok, “Su Kwak’s New Paintings,” Monthly Art Magazine, December, pp. 140-143
Garcia, Cathy Rose A, “Light, Hope Fill Su Kwak’s Paintings,” the Korea Times, October 27
Park, Rhai Kyoung, “Weaving Light and Time,” Public Art, October
Koh, Mi-Seok, “With Light Singing Comfort,” Dong-A Ilbo, October 23
Kang, Min Young, “Healing and Hope,” Sports World, October 19
Lee, Youngran, “Korean American Artist, Su Kwak’s Exhibition,” the Herald Business, October 24
Kim, Young-Tae, “Leading to the World of Light,” NOCUTNEWS, November 4
Ryu, Sangwoo, “Healing with Light,” NEWSES, October 8
Jun, M. S. “Su Kwak: Light and Time, at the June Kelly Gallery, ”the Sae Gae Times, June 10
You, S. L. “Su Kwak: Light and Time,’ 11 Recent Paintings,” The Korea Daily, June 10
Doh, J.S. “Su Kwak: Light and Time, at the June Kelly Gallery,” the Korea Times, June 9
Mano, Henrique. “Portugal’s Inspiration,” LusoAmericano, June 19, p 1
Kita, Sandy, “Su Kwak, artist,” Public Art, May Issue 102-107

Mi-Seok Koh, “Suffering Blooms into Art,” Dong-A Ilbo, July 3
Young ran Lee, “Color, Hope and Peace,” Herald Economic News, July 7
Kyung-Kab Kim, “Healing Light, Living Light,” Korean Economic News, July 3
June Mo Jung, “Peace Giving Light,” Wolgan Misool, August
Elisabeth Sussman, “Healing Light,” Art in Culture, May Issue 162-164
“Goings on about Town, ‘Galleries Downtown: Su Kwak,” The New Yorker, August 2
Sukie Park, “Su Kwak’s Healing Light Exhibition,” Korea Daily, June 30

June Mo Jung, “Song of Light, Singing of Light,” Su Kwak Exhibition, Jean Art Gallery, Art in Culture, October
Kwang Jin Choi, “Su Kwak Exhibition,” Jean Art Gallery, Wolgan Misool, October
Hyung Doo Lym, “Kwak Su,” Jean Art Gallery, Yonhapnews, August 30
Churl In Suh, “Kwak Su: My Life in Korea and America,” Jubu Sangwhal, June

Jin Sup Yoon, “Joy and Suffering in Life, Light as Revelation,” Art in Culture, March.
Hye Sun Lee, “Interview with Su Kwak,” Wolgan Misool, February
Hyun Wook Cho, “Canvas filled with Light of Life,” Jung Ang Daily News, January 16
Jong Myun Kim, “Searching for Light,” Dae Han Daily News, January 15
Sung Koo Lee, “Materialization of Spiritual World,” HanKook Economic News, January 12
Jung Kook Yoon, “Light: Symbol of Redemption,” DongAh Daily, January 10
Soo Hoo Sohn, “Beyond Material into Spirit,” Kook Min Daily, January 12
Young Ju Song, “Soft Surface, Warm Color,” The Korea Times, January 15

Sun Ae Park, “Gift of Peace through Painting,” the Korea Times, January 13
Jung Sook Do, “Invitation to Light,” Feel section, Chosun Daily, Washington, DC, January 18

Chung Gul Lee, "Invitation to Light," Vogue Korea, April 4

Jin Sup Yoon, "Visualization of Inner World," Wolgan Misool, Korea
Chan Sik Hong, “Interview with Su Kwak,” Dong -a Ilbo, Seoul, Korea, April 5
Gung Hyun Chung, “Korean American Artist: Kwak Su Exhibition,” Chosun Daily News, Seoul, Korea, March 27
Jung Hee Shin, “Korean American Artist: Kwak Su Exhibition,” Daily Economic News, Seoul, Korea, April 1
Yong Lee, “Abstract Landscape painted with Light,” Kyung Hyang Daily News, Seoul, Korea, April 5
Young Lan Lee, “Expression of Inner World,” International Economic News, Seoul, Korea, April, 4
Chang Hyun Pack, “Sublimation of Painting: Expression of Hope and Peace,” Korean Economic News, Seoul, Korea, April 2

"Korean Artists at Two N.Y. Galleries," Manhattan Spirit, April 7
Ok Kee Kim, "Expression of Life Force," The Sae Gae Times, March 8

Terrington, Calas, "East Meets West in Compelling Landscapes," The New Orleans Times- Picayune, March 27
Sarah Grusin, "Sight Scenes," Washington Flyer, May-June

Arirang, Korea’s Global TV, “Heart to Heart: 25minute documentary interview by JH Ahn,” November 2
KBS, “Culture News: Su Kwak’s Exhibition by SD Hahn,” November 1
YTN, “Su Kwak’s Exhibition interview by JA Kim,” October 31

S.B.S. Production, “Night Line: Art News,” July 5
Kim’s Arts Network International, “Interview with Su Kwak,” dibart (digital broadcasting of art), July

S.B.S. Production, “Su Kwak Exhibition, “News and Daily Economics, September 11

MBC production, “Powerful colors in current Exhibitions,” Morning News, January 17
S.B.S. production, “Culture News,"January 17
“Su Kwak,” Art and Culture News, January 16

Korean Broadcasting Network (KBN) “Su Kwak’s Exhibition,” KBN News line January 30

Korea Broadcasting Service (KBS), News Forum, “Su Kwan’s New Works at the Sun Gallery, April 3
A & C Kolon (A&C), News, “Su Kwak’s new works at the Sun Gallery,” April 4
Korea Broadcasting Service (KBS), “A Cultural Outing,” Presentation of Su Kwak’s new Works by Critic Ku Yeol Lee, April 10

Other Professional Activities
Published “Light in the Heart: Art and Love,” a memoir

Lecturer at Georgetown University, Washington, DC

Lecturer at the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Assistant Professor, Elmhurst College, Elmhurst, IL