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Moth Cape: Big Crybaby is a tribute to the artist’s maternal grandmother, who passed away when Rainbow as an infant. Rainbow’s mum describes her mother as a “big crybaby”, which is displayed in Chinese script on the vibrant silk painting. Rainbow is interested in exploring her cultural heritage, Weitou, who were the first people to settle in the New Territories of Hong Kong and are considered to be the region’s indigenous population. Within this agrarian society, Weitou women had little to no rights. Their stories, dialect, and folk songs are rapidly disappearing. Rainbow reimagines feminine-coded labour such as embroidery, silk and cheap fashion ornaments as a way to investigate these gender issues. She has recently learnt the craft of indigenous Weitou tassel weaving (using a back-strap loom) which can be seen on the bottom corners of this painting. Lastly, in Weitou culture, moths are seen to contain the spirit of one’s ancestors. This work attempts to continue the cycle of matrilineal knowledge through the symbolism of silk and the cocoon-like embroidered words that are waiting to be reborn.

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