The work of Asian-American painter Suk Ja Kang-Engles is a manifestation of her struggle to escape the cultural and social bounds implied by the designation of Asian-American. "I think of myself, first of all, as a woman still in the process of escaping from the stridently patriarchal culture of Korea. While America has often seemed to offer less restrictions than Korea did, I continue to find myself subject to forces that try to define who and what I am. The ongoing struggle between these past and present impositions versus my resistance to them has been the central animating tension through the many stages of my art," Kang-Engles writes.

Truly, the paintings of Kang-Engles act as a means of liberation - not only on a personal level for the artist, but as the catalyst to shatter preconceived notions held by the viewer. The Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein proposed that despite an individual's impression of seeing the outline and shape of an object in front of us, we are actually seeing the frame through which we see that object. "I want to free the viewer from these frames of visual reference," Kang-Engles explains, "by creating the effect of imagery freed from the tyrannous habits of interpretation."

Kang-Engles creates stunningly beautiful paintings in her exploration of this philosophical ideal. For example, her "Eye-Con" series consists of canvases intensely saturated with red glazes; delicate markings of graphite lines and forms float suspended between the layers of sheer red paint, creating subtle indications of landscapes, mountain scenes, or birds. However, these markings are subordinated by the overwhelming power and intensity of her use of the color red. "Because the color red is so quick to leap into iconic status for the Western mind in its conceptions of exotic Asian-ness, the overwhelming redness of these pieces symbolizes for me other false (yet standardized) facets of the 'Orientalist' mindset. I want red to predominate in this series so fully that it obscures perception of potential imagery," Kang-Engles writes. "I want to suggest that when the inner Western eye turns to 'the East,' it can be conned into a certain blindness, if it has not unlearned that which it likes to think it knows."

Suk Ja Kang-Engles immigrated to the United States from South Korea approximately twenty years ago, and has been active as an artist and curator since that time. Kang-Engles has been exhibiting with the Bill Lowe Gallery since 1997, and her 1998 exhibition with the Bill Lowe Gallery was favorably reviewed in Art in America. She has exhibited throughout the United States since 1994, and has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants. She earned a BFA in Drawing and Painting from the University of Georgia, and an MFA in Painting from the University of Illinois.

MFA Painting Program, University of Illinois
BFA, Drawing and Painting, School of Art, University of Georgia
BA, Korean Literature, Sung Shin Women's University, Seoul, Korea

2012 Indulgence. Guthrie Contemporary, New Orleans, LA
-- Annual opening. Bill Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA
2011 Works. Guthrie Contemporary, New Orleans, LA
2008 Grand Re-Opening. Bill Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA
2007 "Suk Ja Kang" Guthrie Contemporary, New Orleans, LA
2006 Guthrie Contemporary, Houston, TX
-- Guthrie contemporary, New Orleans, LA
2005 “Focus: Suk Ja Kang Engles” Betty M Collection, Chicago, IL
-- Solo Show, The Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA
-- “Remnants of Boundaries” Solo show. Guthrie Contemporary, New Orleans, LA
-- “After Whitemess”, Group Show, Tarble Arts Center, IL
-- Group Shoe, Push 2 Gallery, Jacksonville, FL
2004 “Encoded,” Group Show, FE Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA (installation)
-- “Tell Me the Story of the World without Words,” Group Show, City Without Walls, Newark, NJ (video installation)

2003 “After Whiteness,” Group Show, I-Space, Chicago, IL (Curator and Participant with video installations.)
-- Solo Show, The Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA
-- “Flora and Fauna,” Group Show, Swim Gallery, Grand Rapida, MI (video Installation)

2002 “30th Anniversary Exhibition,” Neiman Marcus, Atlanta, GA
-- “13th Anniversary Show,” The Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA
-- The Lowe Gallery, Group Show, Santa Monica, CA - Pedestrian: A Gallery of Contemporary Art, Group Show, Jacksonville, FL
-- “Inspired in Illinois,” Group Show, Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences, Peoria, IL
-- “Anima,” Group Show, The Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA
-- Group Show, Spiller Vincenty Gallery, Jacksonville, FL

2001 "12th Anniversary Show," The Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA
-- "Pecking Orders," The Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA

2000 "An Encumbrance of Lyrics," The Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA
-- "Lowe Gallery Eleventh Anniversary Show," The Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA
-- "Methods Employed Against That Which Remains Unseen," Gallery 5, SoHo, NY
-- "Hypnotic Post: Atlanta Abstraction Now," Swan Coach House Gallery, Atlanta, GA
-- "Summer Writing," Anne Reed Gallery, Ketchum, ID

1999 The Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA
-- Robert Lowery Gallery, Watkinsville, GA
City Gallery East, Atlanta, GA
-- "Transitional Heresies," Kwan Galleries, Seoul, Korea

1998 The Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA
-- Lyndon House Art Center, Athens, GA

1997 The Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA
-- "Herstory," Group Show, Open Studios, Athens, GA
-- "Athens Underground," Group Show, Fay Gold Galleries, Atlanta, GA
-- Group Show, Gallery B, Atlanta, GA
-- "Multiple Identities," Group Show, Nexus Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta, GA
-- Dual Show (with Katie Bauman), Suil Art Gallery, Athens, GA
-- Group Show, Emory University Law Library, Atlanta, GA

1996 Group Show, Clayton Street Galleries, Athens, GA
-- "Traced Crossings," Solo Exhibition, African American Cultural Center, University of GA
-- Group Show, Student Print Competition, Visual Arts Building, University of GA

1995 Group Show, The Art Place, Hollywood, FL
-- Solo Exhibition, The Big A Art Show, Atlanta, GA
-- Solo Exhibition, Visual Arts Building, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
-- Group Show, Kiang Gallery, Atlanta, GA
-- Group Show, Yensen's Student Art Exhibition (Winner of Juror's Award), Athens, GA
-- Group Show, WSSO Art Expo, Tate Center, Athens, GA

1994 Group Show, NASAD Exhibition, Athens, GA
-- Group Show, Art Place Annual Student Exhibition, Marietta, GA
-- Solo Exhibition, Last Resort, Athens, GA
-- Group Show, Visual Arts Building, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

2000 Juror, Tate Center Spring Art Show, Athens, GA

1998 Lecture: "Diss/Orienting: What Is "Asian American about Asian American Art?" Department of English, University of Georgia

1997 Lecture: "Why I Can't Be (Just) 'An Artist,'" Department of English, University of Georgia

1996 Lecture: "My Grandfather's Granddaughter," Department of Comparative Literature, University of Georgia
Director, International Olympic Mural project; funding provided by NAFSA: Association of International Educators, The Office of International Services and Programs, and the University of Georgia
Lecture: "The View from Here: One 'Korean' 'Woman,'" Korean Undergraduate Student Association, Athens, GA
Lecture: "Traced Crossings," African American Cultural Center, University of Georgia

1999 Travel and Development Grant ($16,000), R.F. Arts Foundation

1996 Lamar Dodd School of Art Scholarship Award
American Scholar Award
USA Today All-American Academic Team, honorable mention
Representative for Students of the School of Art, Lamar Dodd School of Art Dedication Ceremony, University of Georgia

1995-96 Dean's List (several times)
Juror's Award, Yensen Student Art exhibition, University of Georgia

1994 Selected for Art Place Student Art Competition, Atlanta, GA
Selected for NASAD Art Exhibition, University of Georgia

Featured Artist, New American Paintings, Volume 28, June 2000
Featured Work, Metropolitan Home, January/February 2000
Review, Art in America, October 1998
Review, Art Papers, September/October 1998
Feature/review, Dossier Magazine, April 1998
Featured Work, Suitcase: A Journal of Transcultural Traffic 3.1-2 (1998): 249
Featured Artist, Twentieth Century Women of Color in America, Pheobe Farris, Greenwood Press, 1998
Feature Photo, Atlanta Journal Constitution, 7.1997
"Artist's Corner," Feature/review, The Red and Black, 4.1996
Feature Photo, Suburban Review, 2. 1996


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