Nguyen Tu Nghiem was a graduate from the first class of the Fine Art School of Indochina. He joined the Resistance forces in 1945 and taught at the Viet Bac Fine Arts College. Though he was educated in traditional Western techniques, the artist, after 1954, searched for his own way through the study of Vietnamese culture, from temples and pagodas to funerary sculpture, woodblock prints, architecture, dance and folk music. His paintings of dancers, festivals, national myths, literature, and zodiac figures capture the immediacy, energy, and exuberance of the countryside. Nguyen became one of the most trailblazing and acclaimed artists of his generation. His work vividly demonstrates the kinship between traditional Vietnamese culture and Western Modernism. He often said “After I learned about traditional culture, I found it easy to understand Picasso".