The Hungry Cormorant

Danielle Shum


Bloomington, IN, United States

7.8 cm x 7.2 cm x 0.7 cm

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Photo credit: Danielle Shum

My mother liked to tell me about Chinese cultural traditions when reminded by an event or a sight in our surroundings. I clung to these stories as a connection to a culture and history that I felt isolated from. I drew inspiration from a story I learned from my mother: Cormorant fishing. Cormorant fishing is a historical fishing method by tying a string around a cormorant’s neck and forcing it to regurgitate caught fish. It is done on moonless nights as fish are drawn to the boat lanterns. It was performed as amusement for aristocrats; nowadays it is a dying practice and a tourist attraction.

Danielle Shum is a 3rd year BFA candidate in Metalsmithing + Jewelry Design at Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. Her work often examines metamorphic processes and organic forms as well as transformations across cultural beliefs and social customs. She explores techniques in enameling, chasing and repoussé, and stone setting.

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