Zhiwan Cheung

Reading the Rainbow

Single Channel Video Installation
16:26 minutes
2015
In “Reading the Rainbow,” multiple figures, painted in Chinatown Orange, interact with abstract shapes also painted in Chinatown Orange. Narrated over the film is a creation myth of Glidden Paints’ paint names. The myth covers a long list of colors, culminating with the birth of Chinatown Orange. These colors were chosen because their names contained words with specific cultural elements or referenced a particular place. Separating and segregating the list of colors, the myth pulls ideas from other creation myths and texts from Jacques Derrida’s “On the Name,” Johann Wolfgang von Gothe’s “Theory of Colours,” Maggie Nelson’s “Bluets,” and David Batchelor’s “Chromophobia.” In utilizing the language of body, place, and structure, the film becomes a metaphor for the difficulty in classification, categorization, and the act of naming.

Other Works


  1. Colorbound
  2. Birdcage
  3. Colonial White
  4. China White
  5. Hanging Fruit
  6. The Impossibility Of Home
  7. Reading the Rainbow
  8. Golden Heritage Living
  9. Good Vibrations
  10. Intergalactic Immigration Office
  11. Vibrating Pink Egg
  12. Skinny Dipping
  13. White Lie
  14. Who’s Afraid of Chinatown Orange?
  15. Homage To My Mother
  16. Movable Wave
  17. Portal
  18. Residues of a Past Performance
  19. Augmented Door
  20. Impermanent Infinity
  21. Expanded Field
  22. People Take Warning: Murder Ballads & Disaster Son …
  23. Day of the Painter
  24. Mines’ Eye
  25. Oedipal Art Wrestling
  26. I want to return to a time when life was simple. When a …
  27. I’M RESIGNING, I’M HEREBY OFICIALLY TENDERI …
  28. Longing for the stars, Longing for the moon
  29. what you don’t know can’t kill you
  30. Oh dear America, save our selves
  31. New World Order
  32. In the Belly of the Beast
  33. I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy
  34. I heard there was a revolution. Where do I sign up?
  35. Bed Bath and Beyond
  36. All work and no play makes art a dull boy