Born in Daegu, South Korea, in 1969. He studied at the Korean Academy of Film Arts, where made his first short movies. In 2000, he directed his first feature film, Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000), but gained notoriety with Memories of Murder (2003), awarded in San Sebastián Film Festival. After that, he made The Host (2006), a segment of Tokyo! (2008, 33rd Mostra), Mother (2009, 33rd Mostra), Snowpiercer (2013) and Okja (2017).