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About Sumi-e and Joan's Artistry 

Sumi-e means "Water and Ink", and is frequently used for artwork created with ink and watercolor on rice paper with an East Asian influence.  Sumi-e is Joan's primary medium although she also explores traditional and experimental water media techniques and materials.    

Joan’s art has a delicacy of strokes and color noted for their poetic value.  In a tapestry of exquisite lines, shades, and colors, Joan captures the spirit of blooming flowers with richness and elegance.  Fluent and versatile in her quick sketches, she breathes life into her scenes, and her birds are accessible and appealing.  Her calligraphic and economic brush works positively dance with energy in her figures and portraits.  Harmony and serenity permeate her landscapes.  Adding a fresh palette to black ink, Joan transforms the ideographs of Chinese characters from mere means of communication to high expression of emotion.  Viewers with no understanding of the language are moved by the imagery in her calligraphy.  The artist evokes a passionate experience of nature, revealing her feelings through her creation.

"There's is always a poetic mood underneath Joan's artwork that can only be achieved with the artist's mastery of her paintbrush"

- Fong Yuen Ng, Founder of Lingnan Art Association of America.

About Joan Lok - Artist and Beyond

Joan Lok is an artist committed to creating artwork as a passage to harmony, diversity and international cultural understanding.  Born in Hong Kong, Joan came to America in 1983 after winning an international cultural exchange scholarship sponsored by the Walt Disney World.


Joan has eighteen solo exhibitions in Connecticut, New Jersey, and Maryland.  She exhibits her artwork across the nation and in Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Taiwan.  Her artworks have won many awards and are featured in The Best of Flower Painting, and Stroke of Genius 2 by North Light Books, Always Bright-Paintings by Chinese American Artists, Vol. II, the cover of SUMI-E Quarterly, and the jacket artwork of Sakura Celebration. Her painting album, Ancient Spirit Modern Flair, collects 72 of her best work.  Her art instruction book, Chinese Brush Painting: Flowers, is an instant best-seller when released in 2014.  Besides English, it has been translated into Dutch, French. Italian, and Spanish, and is widely available in the United States, Canada, England, and many European nations.   

Joan is honored in Marquis' Who's Who in American Art.  She is named one of twelve Artists of the Year in 2000 by New Jersey’s Edison Arts Society.   Joan has received awards from many celebrated shows. Her artistic recognition includes the Best of Show of Sumi-e Today, an international joint exhibition of the Sumi-e Society of America and the Sumi-e Artists of Canada, the Grumbacher Gold Medal, the Winsor & Newton Award, the Founder's Award, and the Benefactors of the Sumi-e Society Award, the Tesshin Sasaki Award for ink-only painting (twice), the Chang Dai-Chien Award, the Diana Kan Award, and the Connecticut Audubon Society’s Best in Watercolor Award.  Her masterful landscape won the 2005 National Cherry Blossom Festival Art Contest, enhancing the subways and buses in Washington, DC metropolitan areas, leaving 10 million impressions during four weeks of display, and covering 100,000 copies of festival brochures and 20,000 copies of official program books.


Joan frequently demonstrates her distinctive painting techniques in museums, art associations, and schools.  In Fall 2008, Joan served as an adjunct faculty member teaching an undergraduate course on Asian American Arts as it relates to personal and community identity at the University of Maryland at College Park. Her media interviews include the cover story of Scholar the Strayer University magazine, the Washington Post, Voice of America, Asian Fortune, Maryland Gazette, Baltimore Sun, Washington Chinese News, World Journal, New Jersey Channel 74, Edison TV, and Baltimore Top of the Morning.  She is a popular workshop instructor at Plaza Art in Rockville and Towson, Maryland; and the Learning & Product Art Expo in Chicago, Illinois. 


Joan Lok served as the National President of the Sumi-e Society of America from 2002 through 2012.  The Society is a 60-year-old art organization with 10 local chapters and over 500 members nationwide, whose mission is to increase awareness, appreciation, and understanding of oriental brush painting in America.  During her tenure, she pioneered the Society’s first virtual exhibition via the Internet, blending modern technology to advance the understanding of this traditional Asian art form.  In 2003 and 2004, the Society received Governor’s Citations from Maryland’s Governor Ehrlich, recognizing the Society’s contribution under Joan's leadership.  Joan is also the Past Vice President of the Lingnan Art Association of America, and member of the Association of Chinese Calligraphy in America.  Joan is a Signature Member of both the Baltimore Watercolor Society and the Potomac Valley Watercolorists.

Besides her artistic career, Joan Lok was a community development professional with a federal financial regulatory agency.  She has the ability to inspire at the grass-root level the creativity and commitment for community development.  She spearheaded the creation of a small-dollar loan program in Baltimore City, the first small-dollar loan pool of its kind in the nation.  Committed to financial education, Joan led the Financial Service Committee of a statewide savings initiative and founded its incentivized savings campaign.  She also served in a variety of advisory councils and planning committees.  Joan Lok was the Translation Manager of the Chinese version of Money Smart, an adult financial literacy education curriculum.  In 2003, Joan and her team received the prestigious Service to America Medal, and she was honored as the Employee of the Year by her agency.  In 2006, Joan served as the Lead Research and Developer of "Navigating the Road to Housing Recovery, a Step-by-Step Guide for Families Affected by the Gulf Coast Hurricanes".  The content she created has been adapted by organizations multiple times to provide disaster prevention and recovery guidance to the public. 

Joan Lok received a gubernatorial appointment to serve as a Commissioner of the Maryland Governor’s Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs in 2003.  She chaired the Business, Finance and Economic Development Committee of the Commission.  In 2004 and 2007, Joan received two Governor’s Citations for Outstanding Community Service from the State of Maryland.  She is listed in the reputable Marquis Who’s Who of American Women, Who's Who in Business and Finance, Who's Who in America, and Who's Who in the World, for her significant contribution to the betterment of contemporary society. 

Joan Lok holds a Master of Business Administration with honor from the Strayer University, and is a Magna Cum Laude graduate in Business Administration and Marketing of the Bernard M. Baruch College in New York.  She also holds a degree in Hotel and Tourism Management from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and studied at the Hong Kong School of Fine Arts.   Joan studied Lingnan Brush Painting with Fong-Yuen Ng and Chit-Seng Lam, Portraits with Zhen Guo Tong, and Landscapes with Wan Fung Shum.  She has also attended many workshops with great artists including Cheng-Khee Chee, Diana Kan, Lok Tok, Shozo Sato, Tesshin Sasaki, He Jun Zhuo, Carol Carter, Frank Webb, and Skip Lawrence.  Joan Lok teaches art online, and creates artworks from her studio in Central Florida. 

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