By December 1972, artist Nguyễn Thế Vinh had been a member of Party V for seven years. During this time, Vinh had spent a large amount of his time in , which inspired most of his artwork exhibited around 1979. He used watercolour and ink to portray the area’s ethnic minorities in vivid detail. As part of this series, Vinh often depicted female guerrilla soldiers armed with rifles and battle ready. However, it is obvious that Vinh was heavily influenced by highland scenes and the minority cultures found there.
Vinh used an ink wash to render a portrait of
It was in famously chastised by journalist as well as many other correspondents. Also, in 1968, in 1964 was the province that contained the infamous Mỹ Lai Massacre, in which 500 civilian villagers were slaughtered by American troops.and neighbouring regions that minority groups suffered from as early as 1954 under direct persecution, first from the colonial French government and later under the US-advised resettlement program implemented by the (PRG),
Given’s strategic and historical importance, the very fact that Vinh was able to infiltrate the province to sketch civilians puts into perspective the danger artists were often under during the war, not to mention the risks they were willing to expose themselves to in order to do their jobs effectively.
To the north, on Christmas Eve, artist Nguyễn Ðức Thọ had travelled to , at a time when the northern capital was at its most vulnerable. From 18 to 29 December 1972, for 12 days and nights, the US Air Force conducted an “Air Strategic Offensive” with B-52 bombers over . Surface-to-Air-Missile (SAM) defence units used their skills and courage to fight back with great results, downing 34 B-52 bombers above ’s airspace (the US military claimed only 16 B-52 bombers were shot down, 4 heavily damaged, with 5 suffering medium damage during that period).
According to Thọ, missile launcher trucks were dispersed on boulevards using large trees for cover. Immediately after the missiles left their launcher, these trucks rushed on to reload with other missiles to ensure their continuous operation for 12 days and nights.
Thọ’s artwork (fig. 2) depicts Soviet-built S-75 Surface-to-Air-Missiles (Russian: С-75; NATO reporting name SA-2 Guideline). These were part of a highly successful high-altitude air defence system with command guidance. These missiles were used extensively by the North Vietnamese for the protection of