Bui Huu Hung was born in 1957 in the seat of war of Vietnam’s northern capital city of Hanoi. His fascination for lacquer came at the age of 18 and has remained within his brushstrokes until this day. In an attempt to preserve the age-old art form, he traveled to numerous small villages in his youth in search of the ancient Vietnamese technique of lacquer painting. Following a stint of combat duty in 1978, he attended the École des Beaux-Arts, where he continued his study of traditional lacquer. Bui Huu Hung rejuvenates this ancient art of lacquer painting with a distinctively original approach. His paintings are grand in setting but intimate in likeness.
His central theme is regal women, adorned in richly decorated colourful gowns with their eyes set forward as if sizing up and contemplating. Their expressions are delicate and reveal a range of emotions, from confidence to languor. Ornamental designs fill the background and his choice of colour and design influences the personality of the paintings, adding depth and heightening the colour contrast. His figures exist in an illusory space, unanchored by earth and sky. The addition of rich gold leaf creates beautiful nuances of light that shine through the lacquer. Through his work, he bestows upon the women an almost mystical grace.