Skilful Violin Maker
It is a long-established notion that violin makers must possess not only excellent workmanship of woodwork but also keen ears for sounds.
But a violin maker with hearing disability from the Korean Art Association for the Disabled produces excellent violins.
He is Kim Sung Il, 34 years old.
He studied at the school for the deaf and started his social life at a public service unit in Sosong District, Pyongyang. At that time he hardly imagined he would become a violin maker.
Since his boyhood, Kim would spend his leisure time making several objects by hand, and later frequented the Grand People’s Study House to acquire a wider range of knowledge.
Kim’s parents who contented themselves by seeing their son dancing for the art association of the disabled took no notice of their son’s habit.
However, officials from the art association discovered this bud of talent in Kim and recommended that he studied at the vocational school for the disabled.
In 2015 Kim began his new occupation at the stringed instrument manufacturing shop under the art association.
He dedicated all his enthusiasm and skill to producing his first violin, which was appraised as having a good appearance but feeling to be acoustically perfect. He was overcome by despair, because he was unable to identify sounds by ear.
At that moment, Song Hak Mun and other colleagues encouraged Kim to buckle down again to the work.
Since then Kim made persevering efforts to create his own way of violin making, particularly cultivating the ability to identify sounds by feel.
Despite his repeated failures, he braced himself up and redoubled his efforts. In the course of this, his workmanship also matured.
Thanks to his tireless efforts, his violin was awarded the technical prize at the ninth Pyongyang musical instruments show held in September 2017, drawing the admiration of the people.
A foreigner who visited the Korean Art Association for the Disabled saw Kim and said: It is quite amazing that Kim with hearing disability makes violins excellently and is so fond of his occupation. I wish Kim would make violins with beautiful shape and tones.
Kim’s violins are also well commented abroad.
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