Teen art prodigy raises $22,000 for disadvantaged students

By Tam Giao   August 22, 2021 | 12:00 am PT
Teen art prodigy raises $22,000 for disadvantaged students
Painter Xeo Chu in his studio. Photo courtesy of the artist
Fourteen-year-old Xeo Chu has auctioned an NFT (non-fungible token) painting and raised more than VND500 million ($22,000) for college students disadvantaged by the pandemic.

The teen art prodigy donated 20 laptops and 10 scholarships Saturday to senior college students in difficult circumstances through VietSeeds, a non-profit organization committed to bringing equal access to college education for all students in Vietnam.

"I feel very fortunate to have loving and caring parents who are capable of offering me an education. I want to use the money I've raised to help other students continue their education without being interrupted by difficulties caused by Covid -19," the artist said.

Cat Tuong, managing director of VietSeeds, said: "Every year, we connect with individuals and organizations to join hands for sponsoring hundreds of studious students in difficult circumstances. This year, due to the pandemic, many children have not received the help of sponsors even as a new school year approaches. We greatly appreciate the support from Xeo Chu."

Earlier this month, Chu's 'The Lucky Apricot Blossoms' painting was sold for $22,899 on Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange that provides a platform for trading various cryptocurrencies and NFTs, units of data stored on a digital ledger called a blockchain that certifies a digital asset to be unique.

Last month, he opened an online exhibition called Pandemic Paintings to raise money for frontline Covid-19 workers in current epicenter HCMC. The artist and his parents, gallery owners in HCMC, used VND2.9 billion raised through the exhibition to buy ventilators and medical equipment for the Medicine University Hospital in Saigon's District 5.

The Lucky Apricot Blossoms was sold fornearly $23,000. Photo courtesy of Xeo Chu

"The Lucky Apricot Blossoms" painting by Xeo Chu was sold for nearly $23,000 on Binance. Photo courtesy of Xeo Chu

Chu began painting at the age of four after he asked his mother that he is allowed to take drawing lessons with his two brothers.

In 2018, he held a solo exhibition at Georges Berges Gallery in New York City, where his biggest piece, "Ha Long Bay in Cave," a 2x4.8 m painting, was sold for $150,000.

Georges Berges, owner of the gallery, is convinced that Chu is a young Jackson Pollock, an American painter and a major 20th-century figure in the abstract expressionist movement.

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