In the early 2000s, when I began my career in web design, I wanted to know if there were other Asians, particularly Vietnamese, in the same field. Then I came across Chris Dang’s website. His futuristic artworks combined with typography, especially his Halovision series, in his designs blew me away. Every time he redesigned his site, I was just in awe. I envied his talent. While his artworks were awesome, his words were mostly angry. He wrote about his life, his parents, and his online girlfriend at the time.
As time passed, he stopped updating his site. I went on to establish my own sense of design. I could never make the futuristic artworks that he had created, but I took the minimalist approach from him. Although I was no longer following him, I always remembered his name and his artworks. Early last year, I googled his name. His portfolio came up. He was an art director at some company. Although he was no longer designing his own site (he was using Squarespace instead), his illustrations were still amazing. It looked like he had done well balancing his artistic vision with his design.
Yesterday, I was not sure why I googled his name again and his obituary page came up and it read: “Christopher Hong-Dat Dang was born on February 20, 1983 and passed away on October 22, 2019…” I was shocked. He was only 36 years old. I scrolled through his public tribute Facebook page, but couldn’t find out the reason for his death. I never met him and never contacted him, and yet he had a profound impact on me through his art. RIP, Chris.