Ho Chan is a traditional artist from Cambodia. He learned how to make shadow puppets and decorative arts from his grandfather as a child. “We had a banana stalk and we drew forms and cut them out with a custom handmade tool.” Shadow puppets are a traditional Cambodian art form that is often accompanied by music and dancing. After Ho Chan came to the United States he started to create traditional shadow puppets as a way to relax and meditate. His wife, Narith, saw the beauty in these forms and encouraged him to share with others. Ho Chan continues to make these intricately drawn and cut forms inspired by creation stories called the Ramayana from Cambodia. These stories feature the likes of Hanuman the Monkey King, Virul the Demon General, The Mermaid, and Machanup (the son of Hanuman and the Mermaid).
Ho Chan has created many different types of artistic forms in his lifetime, including arches for the Buddhist temple located in Long Beach at 1949 E. Market Street. He has also shown his work at Greenly Art Space, Long Beach Aquarium, and various Cambodian festivals. He continues to create many different forms of artwork because “It is fun!”