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. In ‘Cuong’s Soul’, Cuong depicts a zipped folder, perhaps one that is used to contain artworks, with a weary face on its cover. This work is a critique on the commercialization of artists’ souls as the art galleries treat artworks as mere commodities.