I am not qualified to comment on art, beyond mentioning what I like or dislike.
We visited the museum of fine art in Hanoi. It is housed in a former French lyceum, a fine old colonial building and one of many that give Hanoi its distinct feel. Des;pita being almost 100 years old, the building was in fine shape, a testament to the quality of construction and continued maintenance.
The museum houses some fine examples of talent nurtured in this country, which many view as an agrarian backward. I came away with two conclusions.
First of all, the majority of artworks are rather dark, Few bright colors are evident, and most motifs deal with some form of hardship or suffering. The French colonial masters are villains in many works. Nature plays the biggest role, and she ain't always been kind.
The second conclusion is that I noticed a distinct absence of anything about the war with the United States. Only one work showed a bomber in the sky in flames above a devastated city. I asked the guide, who suggested that such motifs might be found in the war museum. This made little sense, because many works depicted military, just not anti-American. This is surprising, because North Vietnam suffered more damage in this war, whereas the French had visited mostly humiliation upon the land.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.