A pioneer who synthesizes traditional Korean craft and contemporary design, Byung Hoon Choi’s work is both sculptural and functional. Employing natural materials such as wood, clay, granite and stone, Choi’s practice is rooted in craft traditions of Korea while evoking a global and transhistorical frame of reference. Each composition is a meticulous balance between the rough and the smooth, the natural and the human-made, the historical and the present.
Choi was born in Gangwon-do, Korea in 1952. He graduated from Hongik University with a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Fine Arts and completed a Masters of Fine Art in 1979. Throughout his career, Choi has been devoted to fostering education and scholarship in the field. He founded an association of young artists, The Society for the Creation of Decorative and Applied Arts, in 1977 which had a profound effect on defining the future of applied arts in Korea. After 27 years of tenure, he retired from teaching as an honorary professor at Hongik University. Choi has travelled extensively around the world drawing inspiration from ancient civilizations, and this lifelong passion to explore different traditions and cultures continues to inform his approach.
His work is held in numerous collections throughout the world, including the Korean Culture and Art Foundation; M+ Museum, Hong Kong; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, as well as Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein.
Recently, Choi realized a major site-specific installation in basalt entitled Scholar’s Way (2018) commissioned by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX.
Choi lives and works in Seoul, Korea.