All image rights reserved to Duy Thang Nguyen or their respective owner.
Duy Thang Nguyen is a gifted illustrator who lives and works in Montreal, in the English-speaking neighborhood, Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. This is significant because Duy Thang, or Dewey as he is sometimes known, grew up in the French-speaking city Sherbrooke, in the province of Quebec. We mention this only to establish a worldliness about this illustrator that will be referenced later. But wait there’s more! Duy Thang’s mother is half Vietnamese and half American, and his father is half Cambodian and half Chinese. He “was born in 1992, April 17th in the Indonesian Red Cross Galang Hospital, on a refugee camp, right after my parent quit the Communist Party of Vietnam the same year.” Did you see that birth date? Duy Thang recently celebrated his 19th birthday, which leaves him just 11 years to make it into Print’s 20 under 30 exhibition. That shouldn’t prove too difficult.
Duy Thang’s style is undoubtedly influenced by Charles Burns and other independent comic creators, but his worldly background (see earlier reference) and youth set his work apart. Illustrations from Nguyen’s desk often incorporate pop culture references. Duy Thang skillfully weaves these references into his larger illustrations, so that the references become integral, but not overwhelming. Nguyen also uses illustration as a platform for cultural and societal commentary. In the gallery below check out the goat-headed demon rising from the first national savings bank, for example. In all honesty, though, Duy Thang’s incredible skill at his youthful age is probably the most impressive aspect of all. We are certainly looking forward to seeing Mr. Nguyen’s output in the years to come (as he continues to grow and mature as a designer), and we wish him a happy belated birthday and all the best.