VIDEO PREMIERE: Rainbow Chan reimagines Chinese folklore on vibrant ‘Seven Sisters’ clip

August 10th 2023

Singer, producer and multi-disciplinary artist Rainbow Chan has delivered her new track and accompanying video ‘Seven Sisters’. The video is as vibrant and culturally rich as the music behind it, taking the viewer on a deeply symbolic journey as Rainbow navigates bitterness towards arranged marriages and patriarchal rule.

On ‘Seven Sisters’, Rainbow Chan seamlessly weaves modern art-pop production with traditional Chinese folklore and a powerful bell-like vocal delivery. The result is a stunning paradoxical feeling of anxiety and self-assuredness, beauty and gloom.

Inspired by a Hong Kong folktale wherein a group of devoted sisters plunge into the ocean as an act of rebellion against their arranged marriages, ‘Seven Sisters’ is a nuanced exploration and feminist reimagining of traditional folksongs in the lead-up to arranged marriage.

Explaining her inspiration for the track, Rainbow says:

“’哭嫁歌’ or ‘Bridal laments’ refer to a female custom that was performed by the 圍頭 (Weitou) people. As marriages were arranged, becoming a bride signified a kind of death for a woman. Not only would her ties to her natal home be severed, but she would remain an outsider to the groom’s family. To mourn this profound sense of loss, Weitou women would perform a bridal lament cycle before their wedding day, a ritual which involved singing and weeping in front of family and friends over the course of three days.”
Rainbow has Weitou heritage through her mother but only learnt about this fascinating bridal ritual recently as the practice ended in the 1960s.

The video offers decadent visuals, blending old with new and tradition with rebellion. Rainbow is surrounded by crimson handmaids and watched by Weitou village elders who personally lived through this history themselves.

‘Seven Sisters’ was directed by Capsule48 creative director Anne Berry, who Rainbow Chan previously collaborated with for her ‘Oblivion’ (2019). It draws on more than five years of intense research done by Rainbow: interrogating intergenerational and cross-cultural perspectives on diasporic identity as part of her collaboration  with Weitou-led conservation program Caritas Lung Yeuk Tau Community Development Project.

Watch the video for Rainbow Chan’s ‘Seven Sisters’ below:



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