The contemporary art scene of Vietnam is centred in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The former is considered to be the cultural capital of the country. Contemporary painting is often influenced by the so called, ‘French School’. This term refers to the École des Beaux-Arts established by the French, in Hanoi, in 1925. This art school greatly contributed to the development of painting in Vietnam. Although most art forms, during the strict communist rule from 1975 into the early 1990s, was reduced to communist propaganda, the doi moi in turn gave artists the chance to express themselves again. Art overall became more daring, and many promising talents have emerged since then. Artwork is usually executed in traditional media such as oil, gouache, silk, and lacquer, the most traditional and characteristic medium for this region. Lacquer painting is a time consuming process requiring time and patience and Vietnamese artists have taken this traditional art form and transformed it into a highly innovative and interesting genre. Conceptual art, installations and similar are often created by artists who have spent time abroad and can be found mostly in Ho Chi Minh City.
*Note: In Vietnam, people are addressed by their given name which is written at the end. Hence, Trinh Tuan is addressed as Mr. Tuan