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. Survivors of a Lying Species
  2. Everything Is A Decaying Lump of Now
  3. Goose and Crocodile
  4. Disoriental Flavors (after Edward Said)
  5. The Immortal Gold Rabbit
  6. Welcome To Jungle Florida
  7. Colorbound
  8. Birdcage
  9. Colonial White
  10. China White
  11. Hanging Fruit
  12. The Impossibility of Home
  13. Reading the Rainbow
  14. Good Vibrations
  15. Intergalactic Immigration Office
  16. Vibrating Pink Egg
  17. Skinny Dipping
  18. White Lie
  19. Who’s Afraid of Chinatown Orange?
  20. Homage To My Mother
  21. Movable Wave
  22. Portal
  23. Augmented Door
  24. Impermanent Infinity
  25. Expanded Field
  26. People Take Warning: Murder Ballads & Disaster Son …
  27. Day of the Painter
  28. Oedipal Art Wrestling
  29. I’M RESIGNING, I’M HEREBY OFICIALLY TENDERI …
  30. Longing for the stars, Longing for the moon
  31. All work and no play makes art a dull boy