PREMIERE: Rainbow Chan digitally constructs herself in ‘The Creator’ video
Future-pop queen RAINBOW CHAN’s latest single, ‘The Creator’, is the centrepiece of her latest EP, Fabrica– a concept piece which unapologetically explores heteronormativity, gender, sexuality and binary love. The track represents the apogee of the EP, the moment where Chan breaks out of these societal constructs and offers a path for others through her low-key but powerful self-assertion of defiance, independence, autonomy and sovereignty. Today, Purple Sneakers is premiering the accompanying music video for that breathtaking track.
Drawing on her own lived experience, as well as that of her female, trans and non-binary friends, Rainbow Chan channels them all into what she calls “a single gesture of resistance through song”, as she refuses to excuse men for their sexist dismissals of feminine and non-binary experiences and stories.
A textured bed of stuttering drum machines and solemn synth pad chords provide a sparse, minimalist soundscape for Rainbow Chan’s lyrical meditations on normative gender roles and sexist double standards to fully resonate, lingering in the song’s in-between air long enough that the listener feels their appropriate weight. Of the song, Rainbow Chan remarked that, “’The Creator’ was written for us: to disturb the norm, to give us a song to sing when our confidence falters, and to lay down the loam for us, and only for us, to bloom”.
Appropriately adapting such a theoretically-heavy and politically-charged song to the visual medium was bound to be a challenge, but director-animator Kynan Tan proves more than capable.
In a direct mirroring of the song’s chorus, the video sees a digitalised Rainbow Chan, housed in a glass sphere that reflects images of herself back to her, being constructed and put together from fragments, who then threatens to melt away into complete abstraction before eventually re-congealing into herself once more. After reconstructing herself through her own image, a heavily distorted synth line disrupts the otherwise understated soundscape, and Chan’s glass sphere breaks apart, leaving her free to float unrestricted in space.
Stylistically speaking, the continuity between music and visuals here is impressive, with Tan taking a digital aesthetic that will surely invite comparisons to other works of similarly minimalist electronica – namely, Bjork’s Homogenic and Radiohead’s Kid A. It’s a relatively simple but pertinent visual for the song that, more than anything, leaves you with the impression of Rainbow Chan’s auteur-ship, the singularity of her vision, and her unique ability to create whole artistic worlds through her music for us to reside within.
Rainbow Chan’s Fabrica EP is out now through Healthy Tapes.
WORDS BY KYLE FENSOM