Many a times, we found ourselves so absorbed by our fantasies of grand ambitions that we become oblivious to the realities of the challenge. Even if we do achieve our desired goal, what is the price of this success?
In the Greek myth Jason and the Argonauts, the ‘golden fleece’ is the sacred prize that puts the whole story in motion. Eager to overthrow his uncle King Pelias, Jason decides to accept a seemingly impossinle challenge – to travel to the far ends of the world to retrieve the golden fleece.
The Price of the Goal is a reminder to all who are embarking on fantastical conquests to always be mindful of the price of success. Amidst the alluring gold, there are always flies hidden within the fleece. In ambition always lies risk and danger. So in today’s competitive world – is the goal, really the gold?
David Chan, Every Trick Only Needs One Truth, 2013
“If society was really a jungle and all animals were roaming around trying to make a living, what would you be?"asks Singaporean contemporary artist David Chan, renowned for his satirical views of human behaviour and social issues through his unique metaphors of animal narratives.
As hinted by Chan's deliberate pun in the title, The Price of the Goal (Lot 391) was executed in oil and actual 24k gold leaf on linen in 2013. Oil on linen is a common medium in Chan's oeuvre but his sophisticated use of gold leaf makes this painting exceptionally unique, effectively delivering his cynical commentary on our society. The fluffy gold lamb reflects whichever light upon it and fills an entire room with its beautiful gold glaze, mesmerizing the audience. However, this seemingly resplendent gold lamb has small flies on different parts of its body that could be easily missed at first glance. The lamb itself would recognise only the presence of a butterfly gracefully sitting next to its horn, oblivious to the flies over its body, whose size and color actually make the lamb more dazzling. Chan's use of animals and actual gold in The Price of the Goal is a stark reminder to us; of our society perhaps easily missing our 'flies' hidden in the quest for the gold lamb fleece.