The Vietnamese character and ego of the people has not changed from the past up to the present. I strive to find this character in the Vietnamese farmer and in the traditional arts of the village. If one looks at my work they may thick that it is the Vietnamese life of the past and not the present, but the former symbols of feudalism and traditional art are alive today. With the advent of development in Vietnam today, I see many sides of the life, some good and some bad. Life always has two faces, beautiful and ugly, good and bad, light and dark, yin and yang. In my works I often paint one person who always has a mask, depicting another face of him. I often draw only one person in the middle of the paper and I also draw many people close together in a festival. I want to depict the dilemma of how to express individuality in Vietnam. We are a collective society of the same country, the same family; having endured centuries of war and difficult economics, we are always helping each other and often see our neighbor as our family. In this context, how does one stand alone?

Phan Cam Thuong Artist's Statement