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Art & Life with Hung Viet Nguyen

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hung Viet Nguyen.

Hung Viet, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
When I was a kid, I dreamed to become an artist, or a sailor, or a forest ranger. I guess I didn’t do good in school. During 6th grade, there was a writing essay; the topic was “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and my reply was to be an artist. However, coming from a large family, I just didn’t want to bother my parents, I didn’t tell them what I want to be.

Even though I was not a very good student, I continued my education at Science University in Saigon where I studied biology. Then I escaped Vietnam by boat to the Philippines and settled in the US in 1982, from then the dream to become an artist came back. I worked as an illustrator and a graphics artist during daytime and fine artist at night.

Three years ago, I decided to take early retirement (quit my day job in 2015) so I could have all the time for my art.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I’m a self-taught painter, I did take some art courses at some colleges, but I quit because I thought I had learned so little at classes compare to what I could learn by myself. I paint mostly in oil, I don’t know if I chose oil painting or oil painting chose me. It’s the medium I love and I’m still learning. I love nature, and the landscape is what I have painted.

Besides the composition, colors, expression,… there is another factor which is very important to me: The relationship between material (oil paint) and myself. I can’t explain clearly, but that the process to be harmony: material has its own soul, I must respect it. I never think I can totally control the medium. What I want viewers taking from my work? Having feelings first, then everything else will come later!

Artists rarely, if ever pursue art for the money. Nonetheless, we all have bills and responsibilities and many aspiring artists are discouraged from pursuing art due to financial reasons. Any advice or thoughts you’d like to share with prospective artists?
I never thought that I can make a living by selling artworks, so I had kept a day job for many years. Depend on what type of work you are doing; you might still be able to create good artworks. Another benefit about having a day job, that you are financially independent and you would create artwork for yourself first, and I believe these are honest works.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
Follow me on social media for up-coming exhibitions in Facebook and Instagram.

There are many ways to support artists:
* Show their works.
* Publicizing (as voyage LA does).
* Buying their artworks.

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.


  1. Barbara Nathanson

    August 6, 2018 at 17:51

    Beautiful paintings. I love the textural qualities that beg to be touched and how the imagery invites the viewer into it. The strange, quirky perspective is fascinating. Great Job. Keep these gems coming.

    • Hung Viet Nguyen

      August 7, 2018 at 16:02

      Thanks Barbara for your nice comment! Feeling great to have your support!

  2. Stephen Robert Johns

    August 6, 2018 at 20:42

    Hung’s paintings are really like no other artist that I know of in Los Ángeles. His dedication to what inspires his art is evident and consistent with every painting he makes, with subject matter such as nature, land, and colorful gestures boardering a child-like composition, yet an uninhibited composition on a grand scale, work that I find refreshing to see.

    • Hung Viet Nguyen

      August 7, 2018 at 16:11

      Hi Stephen, your comment really means a lot to me! Specially come from a veteran international artist. Much appreciated!

  3. Scott Bovard

    August 7, 2018 at 19:20

    Hung is a great artist his art is his own. Very original! His unique style should be recognized! He is a good person inside and out and paints in a whimsical style that catches your eye. His art makes your eye wonder through the subject matter looking for new things. Keep up the hard work my friend! Well done!

    • Hung Viet Nguyen

      August 10, 2018 at 00:08

      Nice to hear from you, Scott! You are great artist yourself too. I remember you drew lots of great farewell cards at our CG Tech Pub, and you did them easily. Hope all the best, old friend!

  4. Valerie Wilcox

    August 9, 2018 at 19:12

    I’ve known Hung for many years and he’s a beautiful person and artist. He always has a positive outlook and a very unique and consistent style that has a wonderful hopefulness about it. His work is timeless!

    • Hung Viet Nguyen

      August 10, 2018 at 06:09

      Thank you so much for your kindness and support, Valerie! You are great South Bay artist; experimenting diffenrent techniques and materials to express yourself. Your works are fresh and interesting. I’m glad to know you.

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