Malayan Exchange (Study of a Note of the Future) - Brown Commemorative Edition

Green Zeng’s work revolves around the exploration of marginalised or occluded narratives and episodes in Singapore’s history. Malayan Exchange re-imagines a series of Singapore banknotes with images of forgotten politicians and activists, significant buildings, maps, flags, and dates. Drawing on the conventions of imagery on currency notes, Zeng’s Malayan Exchange also features drawings of flora and fauna from the natural history drawings commissioned by Wiliam Farquhar, a British colonial administrator who was accomplished in his own right but who ultimately served as a ‘side note’ in history to Sir Stamford Raffles who became the central, feted protagonist in the scripted history of Singapore’s colonial past. Malayan Exchange invites a (re)consideration of the symbols and personages chosen to represent a nation – a currency of shared values – by opening up avenues of enquiry into multiple perspectives of history, complicating the largely linear, officially-sanctioned narratives.