Neither, Nor and Both is a conceptual storytelling project by Probably Joel. The work is based on the artist?s most recent visit to his homeland, Hong Kong, where he finds himself feeling more like an outsider and less like being home. The work as exhibited in Maine College of Art creates the experience of being in a virtual ethnic enclave?a Chinatown of sorts manifested from the artist?s lived experience, while also functioning as a visual journal of being in flux between identities.
The body of work operates in two different planes. Visually, it is a study of light. All of the works are light-emitting and require no auxiliary lumination. From neon, to backlit photographic prints, the concoction of artificial light simulates the bustling nightscape of a metropolis like Hong Kong. Conceptually, each sculpture is an anecdote of placelessness and being in flux between identities. From stories of listening to the radio 8,000 miles away, Hong Kong?s fading neon sign culture, to the obscure phenomenon of the homeless seeking refuge in the largest fast food chain in the world, the project presents a broader view of migration and diaspora that goes just a step beyond the notion of exile.