Cuong Nguyen grew up in poverty after the fall of Saigon, where his greatest pleasure was finding time to draw. He studied at the Academy of Art in Saigon, but then emigrated to the U.S. in 1991. He earned a degree in illustration from San Jose State University and worked as an icon designer in Silicon Valley for 10 years. Cuong later returned to fine art and established a reputation for painting amazingly lifelike portraits on asphalt as a street painter, and he was invited to participate in festivals around the world. Today, Cuong works in both oil paints and pastels, has won many awards, and his work has appeared at the Triton Museum in Santa Clara, California, and the Haggin Museum in Stockton, California, as well as in both national and international competitions exhibiting from coast to coast.