Seok-Hyun Hong

Seok-Hyun Hong

Chairman and CEO of the JoongAng Media Network


Seok-Hyun HONG is the chairman and CEO of the JoongAng Media Network, the largest media group in Korea, with 26 media outlets spanning in newspapers, broadcasting, publishing, entertainment and digital media. In 1994 Mr. Hong took over the JoongAng Ilbo, Korea’s most-read daily, and since then the group has expanded into a global multimedia powerhouse through a wide range of innovations and reforms.

Having helped transform the media industry, Mr. Hong served as president of the World Association of Newspapers, a position to which he was elected in 2002 and re-elected in June 2004. He became president of the Korea Association of Newspapers from March 2003 to February 2005.

During his career, Mr. Hong has been active in public services. He worked as an economist at the World Bank from 1977 to 1983, primarily on the economies of Turkey and Malaysia. He was a senior fellow at the Korea Development Institute (KDI) from 1985 to 1986, playing a key role in the economic development of Korea through the 1980s. In 1983, he joined the Korean government, first as chief assistant to the minister of finance and then as principal assistant to the chief of staff of the president of the republic. He served as Korean ambassador to the United States in 2005.

Currently, Mr. Hong is the deputy chairman of Asia Pacific Group of the Trilateral Commission, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Asia Foundation, a trustee of the Board of Trustees of Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), chairman of Korea Baduk(Go) Association and president of the organizing committee of the World Culture Open (WCO). 

Mr. Hong received his bachelor’s degree in electronics engineering from Seoul National University, and earned both a master’s in industrial engineering and a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University.

Mr. Hong and his wife, Yun-Gyun Shin, have two sons and one daughter.

composed by Arswain
machine learning consultation by Anna Tskhovrebov
commissioned by the Berggruen Institute
premiered at the Bradbury Building
downtown Los Angeles
april 22, 2022

Human perception of what sounds “beautiful” is necessarily biased and exclusive. If we are to truly expand our hearing apparatus, and thus our notion of beauty, we must not only shed preconceived sonic associations but also invite creative participation from beings non-human and non-living. We must also begin to cede creative control away from ourselves and toward such beings by encouraging them to exercise their own standards of beauty and collaborate with each other.

Movement I: Alarm Call
‘Alarm Call’ is a long-form composition and sound collage that juxtaposes, combines, and manipulates alarm calls from various human, non-human, and non-living beings. Evolutionary biologists understand the alarm call to be an altruistic behavior between species, who, by warning others of danger, place themselves by instinct in a broader system of belonging. The piece poses the question: how might we hear better to broaden and enhance our sense of belonging in the universe? Might we behave more altruistically if we better heed the calls of – and call out to – non-human beings?

Using granular synthesis, biofeedback, and algorithmic modulation, I fold the human alarm call – the siren – into non-human alarm calls, generating novel “inter-being” sonic collaborations with increasing sophistication and complexity. 

Movement II: A.I.-Truism
A synthesizer piece co-written with an AI in the style of Vangelis’s Blade Runner score, to pay homage to the space of the Bradbury Building.

Movement III: Alarmism
A machine learning model “learns” A.I.Truism and recreates Alarm Call, generating an original fusion of the two.

Movement IV: A.I. Call
A machine learning model “learns” Alarm Call and recreates A.I.Truism, generating an original fusion of the two.