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. Disoriental Flavors (after Edward Said)
  2. Crocodile and Goose
  3. The Immortal Gold Rabbit
  4. Welcome To Jungle Florida
  5. Colorbound
  6. Birdcage
  7. Colonial White
  8. China White
  9. Hanging Fruit
  10. The Impossibility Of Home
  11. Reading the Rainbow
  12. Golden Heritage Living
  13. Good Vibrations
  14. Intergalactic Immigration Office
  15. Vibrating Pink Egg
  16. Skinny Dipping
  17. White Lie
  18. Who’s Afraid of Chinatown Orange?
  19. Homage To My Mother
  20. Movable Wave
  21. Portal
  22. Residues of a Past Performance
  23. Augmented Door
  24. Impermanent Infinity
  25. Expanded Field
  26. People Take Warning: Murder Ballads & Disaster Son …
  27. Day of the Painter
  28. Mines’ Eye
  29. Oedipal Art Wrestling
  30. I want to return to a time when life was simple. When a …
  31. I’M RESIGNING, I’M HEREBY OFICIALLY TENDERI …
  32. Longing for the stars, Longing for the moon
  33. Oh dear America, save our selves
  34. New World Order
  35. I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy
  36. Bed Bath and Beyond
  37. In the Belly of the Beast
  38. All work and no play makes art a dull boy