While we often credit Sir Stamford Raffles as Singapore’s founder, much of the work of developing and managing the island was inherited by William Farquhar and other East India Company administrators instead. Did they see this as a job posting? An adventure into a strange land? Or could this have been a new home? MessyMsxi’s fictional banknote features William Farquhar with his beloved pets. While the banknote refers to the economic significance of Singapore as a trading outpost for the British empire, its content reflects instead the more unexpected passion of William Farquhar; the supposedly wide collection of animals in his garden and his persistent desire in hunting down elephants. The illustration style of the animals and landscape was inspired by the Natural History Drawings painted by unknown Chinese artists whom William Farquhar commissioned between 1819 and 1823.
PROJECT DATE: 2014