Born in Bac Ninh, Nguyen Nghia Cuong (b.1973) graduated from Hanoi University of Fine Arts. Despite being raised in a family of classical painters, Cuong breaks the mould with his refreshing style of art. Cuong’s art presents vignettes that reference both his inner and outer worlds. His work veers from exuberance and glee to wrenching sadness, exploring the full range of human emotions. Sometimes personal anecdote and sometimes social commentary, his art never loses its wry humour and sense of playfulness.This is a witty commentary on how artists in Vietnam have to project themselves as the male, masculine artist-genius. Since the implementation of the Doi Moi policy, the prices of Vietnamese art have rocketed and some artists feel pressured to produce commercially viable works once they have found a successful style, leading inevitably to the commercialization of art.