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Art prodigy fights COVID-19 with art

The 14-year-old art prodigy Xeo Chu has joined the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic by donating all of the proceeds from two online auctions of his paintings to the city’s healthcare workers. 

Xeo Chu poses next to his paintings that were auctioned on Sunday and Tuesday. — Photo courtesy of Xeo Chu Arts 

The VND2.85 billion (US$123,500) he received from selling eight paintings during the auctions, will be used to provide medical supplies and equipment. The proceeds will be given to the University Medical Center of HCM City.

Chu, who set sales records with his 'Jackson Pollock' like paintings selling for over $217,000 in an exhibition in New York in 2019 when he was only 12, says the money will be used to buy six ventilators, 1,000 protective suits, and 10,000 N95 masks.

The young artist will also give VND355 million ($15,400) to healthcare staff at the city’s Tam Anh General Hospital to buy vegetables that are in short supply in HCM City. 

Xeo Chu seen to work in his studio in HCM City. 

The first auction on Sunday raised an amount of VND700 million (US$30,000) for four paintings. The artworks include two from the collection Home Flower 2020 which he created last April during the “first wave” of the pandemic in Vietnam.

Before the online auctions, in November, he sold 20 paintings from the same collection to raise funds for needy children in seven remote schools in the central province of Quang Binh.

Two other paintings, Moonlight 2 (120cm x 120cm) and Sunset 1 (100cm x 120cm), are both from the collection Ho Tram Beach that he created in 2021.  

Chu created Moonlight at Ho Tram Beach. It depicts the peace and calm Chu experience. Sunset 1, on the other hand, is among a series of the same theme that the artist created during two months by the beach. The young painter said that the sunset on the beach is very stunning.

“It’s luminous, it’s glorious, and it’s mysterious. So every day, I went to the beach to enjoy the sunset and I never got bored painting the view,” he said.

The second auction on Tuesday features a painting from Series of Garden 2021 depicting the fruit tree garden of Xeo Chu’s grandmother in a village where he often spends summer holidays and has many memories.

The Tomato Garden (120cm x 120cm) from the collection Home Flower 2020, and two other Sunset paintings from the collection Ho Tram Beach 2021, are among the ones that have been auctioned.

Xeo Chu and Georges Bergès, owner of the Georges Bergès Gallery. Chu held his New York debut exhibition 'Big World, Little Eyes' in 2019.

Xeo Chu, whose real name is Pho Van An, has been making art since he was just four years old.

In 2019, the prestigious Georges Bergès Gallery in Soho, New York hosted the Big World, Little Eyes – a solo exhibition of Xeo Chu.

On International Children’s Day, June 1, the talented young painter was granted the children’s award Dế Mèn (The Cricket) by the Thể Thao & Văn Hóa (Sport & Culture) newspaper for his painting series about nature and life.

Source: Vietnam News

Young Vietnamese painter set sales records in US

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