Xeo Chu is 14, opening a solo London show, and already a darling of the art world, but still ‘just a kid.’
Xeo Chu’s first ever painting was a portrait of his mother, gallery owner Nguyen Thi Thu Suong. “Ears are very difficult,” is all he has to say about that one, but it hangs now on the walls of the D Contemporary gallery in London, thousands of miles from his Vietnam home. He painted that portrait when he was four years old. Now, fourteen, he has a solo show in London. Even more remarkably for someone so young, the show is a retrospective.
Xeo Chu sold his first painting at six years old. When he was 10, he had his first painting exhibition in Singapore. He donated the $20,000 he made at that show to support charities in Ho Chi Minh City, his home, and kept painting.
“I love painting. Even if I am sometimes lonely when I paint it fills me with joy. I disappear for hours while I am painting,” said Xeo Chu.
His art is impressionist to the point of abstract, mostly landscapes and flowers. New York gallerist George Bergès, who hosted Chu’s New York show two years ago, first began comparing him to Jackson Pollock.
“To me it was very interesting to work with an artist who’s before puberty, because it challenged my notions about art and how life experience has to go into it. If there is depth and complexity in a piece of work from someone who has very limited life experience, it gives you a glimpse of the universal unconscious that we all have and can tap into.”
His exhibition, “Big World Seen From Little Eyes,” showcases 10 years of Xeo Chu’s art – his entire painting career – in 41 paintings and will only be in the D Contemporary space until Friday.
Photo: cowardlion / Shutterstock