Lee Ungno was born in Yesan in South Chung province. He studied under Kim Kyujin, also known as Haekang (1868-1933) in 1923. He went to Japan in 1935 and he studied Western-style painting at the Kawabata Art School and at the Hongo Painting Academy in Tokyo. He also studied under Matsubayashi Keigetsu (1876-1963). His first one-person exhibition was at the Hwashin department store in Seoul in 1939. In 1948 he joined the faculty of Hong-Ik University. From 1958-1973 Lee Ungno had numerous one-person exhibitions in Korea, Japan, the United States, and Europe and was given an award at the Sao Paulo Biennial in Brazil in 1965. His work was included in invitational exhibitions at the Ho-Am Art Museum in Seoul in 1989 and 1994.