Born in Hanoi, Ha Tri Hieu (b.1959) graduated from Hanoi Industrial Fine Arts University in 1983. Together with Tran Luong, Pham Ouang Vinh, Hong Viet Dung and Dang Xuan Hoa, they are collectively known as the Hanoi ‘Gang of Five’. Hieu draws his inspiration from everyday life, cultural motifs and traditional art forms. He has participated in more than 15 exhibitions internationally, including two solo exhibitions in Vietnam.This self-portrait is part of a series of studies Hieu embarked on in 1997. The works are quick studies of himself in different poses but almost always with a cigarette in one hand. The stylistic representations are uniquely distinct, each formed by a powerful inner vision and a personal view of life.