Nguyen Man Hung (b. 1976) was born in Hanoi and is currently based in Ho Chi Minh City. In recent years, Nguyen has attracted international attention and has participated in various important institutional exhibitions, such as the 2012 Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art at the Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane and has been in residence in 2014 at the Musée d’Art Contemporain du Val-de-Marne (MAC/VAL) where he has exhibited alongside the other invited resident artist Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba.
Working with a range of media, including installation, painting and sculpture, Hung addresses issues that concern life in contemporary Vietnamese society as well as aspects of the national and cultural history of Vietnam. Charged with social criticism subtly conveyed through visual symbolism, his approach is strongly influenced by surrealist practice. The son of a fighter jet pilot, he has often depicted fighter jets in his work, giving them a humanised appearance such as in his sculptural installation Go to Market (2013), part of his 2013 solo exhibition One Planet at Galerie Quynh. The work shows a jet plane with grocery bags on its wings and the title is suggestive of a daily human action, softening the presence of war and violence (the jet) with a hopeful and joyful action (going to the market). Nguyen conveys commentaries on the harsh realities of a strict regime with a playfulness and humour that sets him apart from previous generations of artists.