Kim Dong-wan (hangul: 김동완; born 21 November 1979) is a South Korean entertainer, known as a member of South Korean boy band Shinhwa. He has been acting since 2002, with roles in television dramas such as A Farewell to Sorrow and Children of Heaven. He has said that given the opportunity he would prefer a career in acting rather than as a singer, However, since the release of his debut album, he has stated that now he prefers singing more. From Shinhwa, Kim is the fourth member to go solo, following Lee Min-woo, Shin Hye-sung, and Jun Jin.
Kim was a child actor and starred in several dramas as a teenager but opted not to pursue acting as a career. He later joined S.M. Entertainment as a trainee after being “streetcasted”.
Kim made his debut in 1998 as a vocalist in the boy band Shinhwa. Although he is not lead vocalist, he began singing bigger parts on Shinhwa’s 7th album, Brand New. One song from the album, “Liar”, actually only has Kim as the vocalist, along with Eric Mun as the rapper. He also wrote, composed, and arranged a song on the album, titled “Set Free”. Though he had branched out as a solo artist, he is part of Shinhwa and just released Shinhwa’s 9th album.
Kim was one of several Korean celebrities praised by the Japanese media for giving generous donations for flood victims in 2006.
On April 16, 2007, Kim appeared as a guest on MC Mong’s “Pleasure and Pain” radio show. When asked about an incident early in his career where he injured his nose, he confessed that he in fact had plastic surgery to change its shape.
Kim released his debut solo album, Kimdongwan Is, on July 5, 2007, which featured collaborations with his fellow Shinhwa members, including Lee Andy rapping in the song “Loving Summer”, Shin Hye Sung singing a duet with Kim in “The One Left Alone”, and Eric rapping in “My Love”. The other members have contribute to the album as well, with Lee Min Woo writing, composing and arranging the song “My Love,” and with Jun Jin helping him with choreography. Kim expressed gratitude for their contributions, saying, “I’ve been working together with the group Shinhwa, thus there was a lot of pressure working on the solo album, but since the other members showed up and helped me with most of it, it has been a great big help for me”. Kim’s first single was the ballad, “Handkerchief”, a song about a guy who consoles his girlfriend and wipes away her tears. Despite Shinhwa’s genre in music like American R&B and bubblegum pop, Kim said he wanted his album to be more J-pop influenced, having redone a song by Glay and Exile in the album.
For the debut album, Kim also lost a lot of weight, saying that “it’s not good for a ballad singer to have a muscular image. Someone singing ballads should have a lean, ‘hungry-looking’ image.” His album sold over 25,000 copies in two days, with 41,490 copies sold by the end of 2007, allowing it to rank 19th for the year. In 2008, he released his 2nd solo album, The Secret; Between Us. The album featured collaborations with Tiffany of SNSD, Jade Valerie, Shinhwa bandmate, Eric and Heritage.
Kim enlisted for mandatory military service in November 2008, at an army training camp in Gongju, Chungcheongnam-do He was discharged on 17 December 2010, after serving 24 months as an administrative worker at the Seodaemun-gu District Office.
Upon being discharged Kim joined Shinhwa bandmate Shin Hye-sung at Liveworks Company and has since played the lead role of Hedwig in theatrical musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch at Sang Sang Art Hall in Seoul. In August 2011, Kim played the role of Korean independence activist, Lee Youk-sa in MBC two-part special drama, The Peak, also known as Life of Lee Youk-Sa, the Poet who Embraced Epoch. It was broadcast on Korea’s Liberation Day, 15 August 2011. Lee Youk-sa was a poet, during Japanese Colonial Period, who died in prison at the age of 40, leaving a collection of some 40 works of poetry.
In March 2012, Kim reunited with his Shinhwa bandmates for their comeback after four years, under the management of ‘Shinhwa Company’. It is a joint venture agency for members to perform as a group, of which Eric and Lee Min-woo are co-CEOs and the remaining members are shareholders. The Company manages the group as a whole, whilst members’ individual activities are managed by their respective agencies. The group released their tenth studio album The Return on 23 March 2012, launched their comeback concerts 2012 Shinhwa Grand Tour: The Return throughout Asia and their first exclusive variety program Shinhwa Broadcast premiered on 17 March 2012 on cable channel JTBC.
In July, Kim co-starred with Kim Myung-min and Lee Ha-nui in thriller Deranged as Jae-pil, a detective agonized with guilt for squandering his brother’s money, in the stock market. In August, Kim was cast as the title role of Kim Tae-pyung in KBS’s daily drama, Cheer Up, Mr. Kim!, about a male domestic cleaner and housekeeper, the guardian of three, later four,children none of which are his own. The series premiered in November and marked Kim’s first television drama since Good Bye, Sadness in 2005. At the 2012 KBS Drama Awards, Kim received the Best Actor in Daily Drama award for his portrayal of Mr Kim.
In April 2015, after the earthquake in Nepal, Dong Wan was reported to have donated ₩36,000,000 (equivalent to approximately $33,660 USD) towards the relief fund.