So Yong Kim was born and raised in Pusan, Korea, immigrating to the United States in 1979. She studied painting, performance, and video art at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, earning her M.F.A. So Yong Kim is a recipient of the New York Foundation’s Video Artist Grant, a Puffin Grant, MacDowell Fellowships, was a Fellow for the National Endowment for the Arts, and received the Sleipnir Nordik Arts Travel Grant. She has exhibited her installations and films/videos in Austin, Chicago, New York, London, Marseilles, Reykjavik, Milwaukee, Gothenburg, Osnabruck, and Tokyo. She produced her first narrative feature Salt in 2003.
At MacDowell, she worked on her fourth feature length film script. Her second feature film, Treeless Mountain, was edited during her residency at MacDowell in 2008.