In the early years of Stencil Archive, Hao (Stencil Archive here and 2004 interview here) began submitting his stencils from the streets of Paris. He supported the project, and was also excited to be part of the 2009 Stencil Nation book project. I never got to meet him in person, but knew that he was inspired by DIY, ska, punk, Pacific Island culture, and the lowbrow Los Angeles art style.
What I remember most about Hao is his enthusiasm, encouragement, and anticapitalist belief that stencils are for the streets, free for everyone to enjoy. He kept a low online profile, didn't seek gallery exhibits or even notariety beyond the Paris streets. He also inspired others to get in on the stencil fun, which is how I only recently found out about his death around 2012/3.
Staying in touch with him was difficult. At one point, he friended me on Facebook, but used an alias. He sent me a PM telling me that it was Hao from France. Eventually I lost touch with him again.
Sadly, I will finally get to visit Paris this summer, but I will not get to meet Lord Hao. As soon at the tickets were booked, I searched online to try to figure out a way to find him, and I only found a few memorial posts about his passing.
So here is a belated farewell to an artist I admired, both for his talent and his kindness. Rest In Paint, Hao. You are missed!