DAVID CHAN (B. 1979)
DAVID CHAN (B. 1979)

The Saviour

Details
DAVID CHAN (B. 1979)
The Saviour
signed and dated ‘David 2015’ (upper left edge of the left panel); signed, titled, dated and inscribed ‘David The Saviour 120 x 320 cm oil on linen 2015’ (on the reverse of each panel)
oil on linen, diptych
each: 120 x 160 cm. (47 ¼ x 63 in.) (2)
overall: 120 x 320 cm. (47 ¼ x 126 in.)
Painted in 2015
Exhibited
Singapore, Parkview Museum, On Sharks and Humanity, March - September 2017.

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Kimmy Lau
Kimmy Lau

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Lot Essay

In recent years, there has been a steady increase in erratic weather conditions. This has resulted in massive flooding in some areas and abject drought in others. Since the early ‘80s, environmental activists and scientists have warned of the dangers of global warming and pollution, yet little has been done to change the status quo. As time passes, it is becoming increasingly clear that the public is aware of our changing climate, yet is unable or unwilling to make the dramatic changes necessary to avoid the oncoming danger. David Chan’s The Saviour depicts a satirical and humorous look at environmental disaster. When technology has eroded and buildings have crumbled, will humans be the ultimate destroyers or saviours? 
In the painting, the animals seemed to be more proactive in the evacuation efforts than the humans. In the central row boat, a human is taking a nap, while the monkeys are scrambling to direct the group to safety. The painting illustrates a cynical and ironic scene between nature and human activity. As the animals travel in pairs towards safety, the humans can be seen cruising along. To the pessimist this would seem like a lost cause. 
However, to an optimist this can also be interpreted from a positive perspective. According to the Gospel of Mark, Jesus crossing the Seas of Galilee. In the midst of a furious storm Jesus takes a nap while crossing the sea. While his disciples panic, he calms everyone down by insisting that they have faith in him. The storm eventually does dissipate, and everyone crosses safely.
Will this be the same here? Will everyone cross over safely? In the end we may never know, what is obvious though is that the saviour is not clear at this moment. Surely, if we could give nature a voice ‘it’ would have handled the situation quite differently. However, it’s still not too late to wake-up and take on the active role as saviour, we merely have to work with nature and not just depend on it.  

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