Ducmanh, sometimes known as The Duke, was born in Hanoi, Vietnam but moved to Paris as a young man. He worked as a graphic designer whilst painting. Although taken up by the art dealer Rene Drouin, his artistic career took off when he decamped to New York in April 1965.
He gained a Rockefeller foundation grant and the Allan Stone Gallery soon accepted and began to show his work. Ducmanh’s style mixes the calligraphic and abstract; like other Vietnamese artists in exile he benefited from a greater freedom to experiment than those who remained at home. The Allan Stone Gallery in New York still holds his work and last exhibited Ducmanh in a mixed show in 2004 called “Group”. Ducmanh lived in Ireland from 1974-76. He is well known for his irreverent and iconoclastic attitudes and “addiction” to drink and women, as well as for some provocative writing.