Born in Bonghwa, South Korea in 1960, he established himself as a director of dark and controversial movies that often won awards in the international festivals. He also had controversies in his personal life and was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women during the #MeToo movement; however, the charges were dropped in the end.
His 2000 film The Isle caused quite a controversy in South Korea and at the Venice festival where some viewers reportedly fainted because of the scenes that contain animal cruelty (which he claimed were real...). His most famous film is Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring while the 2004 film Samaritan Girl won a Silver Bear. In the same year the director’s 3-Iron won a Silver Lion at Venice.