Yu Kuk Il

b. 1966, Korean

Sound maestro Yu Kuk Il majored in Metal Art & Design at Hongik University, and received his MFA from its Graduate School of Industrial Fine Art. Yu has designed his metal speakers by fusing music and metal structures in pursuit of what he considers to be the “ideal sound” since 1993. The artist holds 8 patents for speaker technology, 32 design patents, and an international patent to achieve a sensitive and precise sound quality. He has received a total of 14 awards, including three of the world’s most renowned design awards “Red Dot,” “IF” and “CES.” He was further recognized and dubbed as a “Maestro” by artisans from the world’s leading sound unit company, Acuton, and network circuit, Mundorf Germany.

Although metal is generally difficult to process and control its vibration, the sound produced by metal is relatively clear and clean compared to that produced by wooden speakers because the heavier the structure, the less distortion of sound caused by the vibration. Due to his years studying metal art and further persistent research on the material, he can work it freely to deliver precise sounds free of distortion. The material he most enjoys using, Duralumin, is a light yet hard metal that is used in aircraft construction.

Yu Kuk Il uses sound as a medium with which to express the moment when a functional object transforms into a work of art. Designed like sculptures, his speakers entertain the senses even when they’re not in use. The patterns of contours, however, are not just for aesthetic function but for scientific needs. When the area surrounding the unit is flat, the contour pattern descends lower to counteract the distortion of sound that results when the sound produces friction and a whirlwind sensation ensues.

As sound is honest, Yu Kuk Il cannot compromise even a single millimeter in his designs. His metal speakers are “artworks,” merging art and science to reproduce original sounds and achieve the highest performance.