Shawn Chamroeun de Lopez

BFA - Creative Technologies  |  Annandale, VA

My artwork explores cultural and family traditions in photo, video, and documented performance from the point of view of a first-generation Khmer-American. More specifically, my work investigates the gap between the preceding generations and my own. This gap spans relationships, family roles, and other areas that we find our greatest differences—which source from the disparate time and setting we’ve grown up in. My elders’ background is of fleeing home and escaping genocide and my own is of Saturday cartoons and macaroni. 


This photo project explores emanating love between a young and old generation of Khmer-Americans. Participants of this prompt-based project were asked to submit photographs of an elder they love and respect, to then be used as light onto the surface of the participants’ bodies. Their bodies, bathing in the new form the photograph has taken, create a relationship texturally and symbolically. Each person, each generation, reflects each other and creates a new portrait.

Shawn de Lopez

© 2020 by Virginia Tech School of Visual Arts