ON THE SUNNY ISLAND of Oahu, Hawaii, the lion dance thrives thanks to an ever-increasing number of talented lion dance teams. The lion dance community on Oahu has a long-standing history, one rich with tradition, color and local influence.
However, out of the hundreds of lion dancers on the island, one young man stands out. Travis Lum displays his varied talents by embracing another aspect of the art. He’s creating some of the art the lion dancers bring to life. When he’s not busy performing and practicing lion dancing and Choy Lee Fut martial arts with Lung Kong Physical Culture Club, he’s busy working on his new love, the art of
Lum joins the Can Do Lion Builders with this fantastic ao yu lion horn entry, only the second project he’s ever attempted! He made this ao yu with all of the ornamentation of its counterpart, which is on a lion belonging to his club. Every curve of every fin is spot on. The paint job is a
Here’s the real surprise: this horn fits on top of a kid-sized lion! If you’ve ever tried this meticulous sort of work before, you know that in most cases, the smaller the work, the harder it is to bind. Doing detailed binding work in small figures requires dedication, patience and imagination.
So far, Lum has crafted only two detachable horns, but if this is what he does on his second try, we are certain he will continue to imagine and fabricate amazing things in his workshop!
At the end of this project, an exhausted Lum gasped, “I think I’ll stick with the wireframes / papier mache portion of lion head construction and retire from painting.”
Not a chance, pal. We were so floored by the quality of his work we made him part of the company. Our plan is to keep him busy so he can nurture this emerging talent. We hope to show you more of his work soon.