Genre-bending art pop grounded in ancient ritual

by | Apr 29, 2024

Rainbow Chan 陳雋然 is an award-winning vocalist, producer and multi-disciplinary artist. This May, she will make her Arts House debut with The Bridal Lament 哭嫁歌.

A sumptuous audio-visual experience and poly-stylistic song cycle, The Bridal Lament moves through electroacoustic chorales, propulsive dances and hauntingly beautiful laments across 13 original songs.

The Bridal Lament reimagines an obsolete Weitou ritual of grief, where a bride wept and sung in front of family and friends for five days, expressing bitterness towards their arranged marriage and the prevailing patriarchal rule.

Interwoven with autobiographical narratives and sculptural movement, Chan crafts a captivating performance that transcends time and traditions, inviting audiences into a tour de force exploration of her diverse musical palate.

Chan’s music has been hailed as ‘genre-bending art pop’ (NME) and ‘bewitchingly elfin in exactly the same way that those words have been used to describe Bjork’ (The Music).

As a six-year-old, Chan moved from Hong Kong to Australia. In 2018, her mother started teaching her Weitouhua (which means ‘walled village language’), a disappearing dialect that was spoken by the first settlers of Hong Kong.

For over five years, Chan has been relearning traditional Weitou folksongs from female elders to craft this work.

“The learnings from my mother sparked my life-long research into Weitou women’s cultural knowledge,” Chan says.

“I realised that as the Weitou elders reach old age, these poignant laments are at risk of fading away. The Bridal Lament honours these women’s voices and ensures that their stories continue to resonate for future generations,” Chan explains.

Produced by Contemporary Asian Australian Performance, with direction by Tessa Leong and visuals by Rel Pham, The Bridal Lament is created by a creative team that resonates with the Hong Kong diaspora and pop music audiences alike.

Arts House Acting Artistic Director, Olivia Anderson, looks forward to sharing The Bridal Lament with audiences, “It is a lush and lavish work that pays homage to the Weitou ritual through a suite of new songs, projection, movement and colour.”

Accompanying The Bridal Lament is a free installation that features Chan’s silk paintings and sound composition called, The novice, fry and fledging 我全未曉, which is free to view in Arts House foyer from 6 – 26 May 2024.

Related Posts

Sister Act heading to Brisbane

Sister Act heading to Brisbane

HALLELUJAH! BRISBANE TO BE BLESSED WITH SISTER ACT MUSICAL   “An irresistibly great time” – The Independent (UK)   The most heavenly of musicals, Sister Act, starring Casey Donovan, Genevieve Lemon and Rhonda Burchmore, will debut in Brisbane from February.   In...

Gorman Grease Scrubs

Gorman Grease Scrubs

GORMAN TO RELEASE GREASE INSPIRED HOSPITAL SCRUBS TO RANGE   Leading fashion brand Gorman has collaborated exclusively with GREASE to create a range of hospital scrubs inspired by the iconic musical currently touring Australia.   The team from Gorman are also...

Bloomsday in Melbourne – Samuel Beckett and the Rainbow Girl

Bloomsday in Melbourne – Samuel Beckett and the Rainbow Girl

Bloomsday in Melbourne announces the première in June of a new play recounting the darkly comic tale of young Samuel Beckett's time with James Joyce in late 1920s Paris and his disastrous relationship with Joyce's doomed daughter, Lucia. “I’m moved by Lucia’s amazing...