Kang Soo-youn (also known as Kang Soo-yeon, born 18 August 1966) is a South Korean actress. She was born in Seoul, South Korea and was one of the best known and internationally acclaimed stars from South Korea from the mid-1980s to the end of the 1990s.


Kang made her acting debut as a child actor in the 1970s. She acted in a number of low profile movies before making a breakthrough performance in the Im Kwon-taek directed 1986 movie, The Surrogate Woman for which she was honored with the Volpi Cup Best Actress award at the 1987 Venice International Film Festival and Best Actress Award at the Nantes International Film Festival. This was the first time a Korean actor has been given the award at the major film festival and at the time people did not even know that South Korea has a film industry.[1][2] Two years later, she again took the limelight by winning the Best Actress award at the 16th Moscow International Film Festival for her role in the Im Kwon-taek directed 1989 Buddhist theme movie, Come, Come, Come Upward.[3] In the film, Kang played the role of Sun Nyog, a young student who sought refuge in the monastery to escape from her troubled home and study to become a nun, and later fell in love with the person who tried to take away her modesty.[4] Kang actually got her head shaved on-screen in the scene when Sun Nyog became a nun.[5][6] In the same year, she was invited to serve as a juror in the Tokyo International Film Festival. In 1991 she was a member of the jury at the 17th Moscow International Film Festival.[7]

In the 1990s, Kang appeared in a number of movies, the best known of which are Jang Sun-woo's acclaimed Road to the Racetrack which won her the Chunsa Film Art Awards and Blue Dragon Film Awards for Best Actress, the box office hit movie titled That Woman, That Man by Kim Ui-seok, Lee Myung-se's film about adultery titled Their Last Love Affair and Im Sang-soo's debut film Girls Night Out.[1] By the end of the 90s, she had acted in 32 movies and after her movie Rainbow Trout was released in 1999 winning her the Baeksang Arts Awards for Best Actress, she cut down her work in movies and took to acting in TV drama.[8][9] Kang was invited to be a juror in the 5th Pusan International Film Festival in the year 2000.[10]

In 2001, Kang starred in the popular 150 episodes TV Drama aired on SBS TV titled Ladies of the Palace (Yeo-in Cheon-ha). The TV drama managed to garner her new visibility among mainstream audiences.[1] Her performance in the TV Drama as Jung Nan-jung enabled her to win the Performance Award awarded by SBS TV.[11] After a brief hiatus from the movie scene, she make her comeback in the movie The Circle playing the role of an attorney. Kang has since then appeared in another movie titled Hanbando in 2006. In 2007, she make another foray into mainstream TV after a gap of six years by acting in the MBC TV Drama by the name of Moonhee. In the TV Drama, she played the role of a woman who is forced to leave her child she had when she was only eighteen and thus the TV Drama seeks to portray the travails of the woman's life.[12][13][14] and become chairman of Busan Film festival[15]


Year Film
2007 Moonhee (TV Drama)
2006 Hanbando
2003 The Circle (Seokkeul)
2001 Ladies of the Palace (TV Drama)
1999 Rainbow Trout
1998 Girls' Night Out
1997 Deep Sorrow
1997 Black Jack
1996 Their Last Love Affair
1995 Go Alone Life a Rhino's Horn
1994 Rosy Days
1993 That Woman, That Man
1993 Western Avenue
1991 Blue in You
1991 Road to the Racetrack
1991 Berlin Report
1990 All That Falls Has Wings
1989 For Long After That
1989 Come, Come, Come Upward
1989 Potato
1988 Karma
1988 Miri, Mari, Uri, Duri
1987 King Yonsan
1987 Youth Sketch of Mimi and Cheolsu
1987 Tohwa
1987 The Surrogate Woman (Sibaji)
1987 Potatoes
1987 Now, We are Going to Geneva
1985 Whale Hunting, Part II
1985 W's Tragedy
1982 The Two Tomboys
1979 A Letter from the Heaven
1978 Good Bye, Sorrow!
1978 Where is My Mother?
1978 A Chorus of Pigeons
1977 Three Stars



Year Awards
1987 Venice International Film Festival Volpi Cup Best Actress
1987 Nantes International Film Festival Best Actress
1989 Moscow International Film Festival Best Actress

See also

References & notes

  1. ^ a b c koreanfilm.org Brief profile Retrieved on Nov 9, 2007
  2. ^ koreanmovie.com Two World Stars Speak About Life, Acting Retrieved on Nov 9, 2007
  3. ^ "16th Moscow International Film Festival (1989)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 2013-03-16. Retrieved 2013-02-24. 
  4. ^ cinemaya.net Come, Come, Come Upward summary Retrieved on Nov 9, 2007
  5. ^ themakeupgallery.info the nuns: Aje aje bara aje Retrieved on Nov 24, 2007
  6. ^ koreanfilm.org Interview Retrieved on Nov 9, 2007
  7. ^ "17th Moscow International Film Festival (1991)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 2014-04-03. Retrieved 2013-03-02. 
  8. ^ koreanfilm.org Awards List in excel spreadsheet Retrieved on Nov 10, 2007
  9. ^ cinemasie.com Baeksang Arts Awards Retrieved on Nov 10, 2007
  10. ^ Pusan International Film Festival Archive Retrieved on Nov 10, 2007
  11. ^ china.tour2korea.com Profile (Chinese) Retrieved on Nov 10, 2007
  12. ^ content.mbc.co.kr MoonHee TV Drama (English) Retrieved on Nov 10, 2007
  13. ^ "The Chosun Ilbo (English Edition): Daily News from Korea - Actress Kang Soo-yeon to Helm This Year's Busan Film Fest". English.chosun.com. 2015-07-07. Retrieved 2016-01-16. 
  14. ^ Hyo, Lee. "Busan: Icon Kang Soo-yeon Names Festival Co-Director". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-01-16. 
  15. ^ "BIFF Launches 20th Edition in Style". Koreanfilm.or.kr. 2015-10-05. Retrieved 2016-01-16. 
  16. ^ Cinespot.com Selected Filmography Retrieved on Nov 9, 2007
  17. ^ asiandb.com Selected Filmography Retrieved on Nov 9, 2007

External links