Dongwan Hong was born and raised in Seoul, Korea. Influenced by his mother, who has an art educational degree, he developed an interest in art at a young age. His parents encouraged him to follow his dream and enrolled him in art middle school. He got his B.F.A. and M.F.A. in Sculpture at Seoul National University. While at university, Dongwan got interested in wooden sculpture, and while using his own hands to create the sculptures, he learned the importance of the process of art-making. Later on, with the continuous study on Conceptual Art and Institutional Critique, he converted labor, often neglected in art, into the primary value of art-making, and focused on the labor conducted in life as well. Dongwan is the author of his thesis, A Search for the Condition of Art-making – on ‘Artist, Labor, and Exhibition Space,’ 2017.
After two years of experience in working at an art high school in the sculpture department in Goyang, Korea, he moved to the U.S.A. for his second M.F.A. in Art Studio at the University of California, Davis, CA. Being separated from his loved ones, he questions his life. As one who believes strongly in power behind the labor of making art, Dongwan contemplates with his given surroundings and materials which often make him re-imagine the value of labor used during the process, and search for its positive and uniting connections to his body and the world around him.