Joy Li, Portfolio

  • Joy Li
    Portfolio 
  • ​​​​​​​
    Ambigous Loss
  • Year: 2018
    Material: Shirt, net panel, and air-dry clay. 
    Size: Men’s medium long-sleeve shirt

    Description: I rendered a portrait of of a missing person on the shirt called Zhenheng Xu who was wearing white shirt when he was missing. He was last seen in the afternoon of October 19th, 2017. He is Chinese and 84. He has Ad, but he remembers his own name. When there is a light shooting on the shirt, there will be a shadow of the portrait. Sometimes the shadow on the wall is big, and sometimes it is small. When you turn on the light, the shadow is there; when you turn off the light, the shadow disappears. I was inspired by ambiguous losses. A physical ambiguous loss means that the body of a loved one is no longer around, such as a missing person or unrecovered body from war, but is still remembered psychologically due to the chance of coming back. 



  • The Absence of People
  •  Year: 2018
    Medium: Hair and steel rods
    Size: 23x23x33.5 inches

    Through this piece, I want to express a state of isolation. Sometimes, instead of physically isolated from the outside, we will be mentally or spiritually isolated from the present by the past. Hair represents the absence of people. The hair used in this work is collected from my friends. The disembodied hair are the traces left by the people who either are already not around me anymore or will inevitably leave me one day. The reason why I chose a structure of a house is that, being enveloped by traces of absent people, I feel a kind of warm and intimacy but it also brings an isolated space.



  • Nameless Creature (Baltimore, MD) 
  • Year: 2018
    Medium: metal and wood
    Size: variable 

    This is a site-specific piece. There is an abandoned notice-board beside 102 McMechen Street in Baltimore. I checked this spot out on a Google Map. There is a picture of this spot taken on October 2014, which shows that this notice-board was still being used at that time. I do not know why it is abandoned and no one comes to take it away. It looks like a black skeleton of an unknown creature, which reminds me of those run-down brick building in Baltimore.I made two copies of it in different sizes, and then place it next to the original one. I hope I can continue to make more copies, and let them wander in the city.
    There are nameless and silent creatures of this city Baltimore.



  • Changeable 
  • Year: 2017
    Medium: mixed media, Ink​​​​​​​, and paper
    Size: variable 

    This is a piece I collaborated with Doyee Kim. Those body parts are moveable and can stick on the suit by the hook&loop fastener.
    Can we cross cultures? Are there forms of contemporary culture or historical material that are inappropriate to reference in our own work? There are some “rights” that look like they are given by some philosophical features that we are born with. You have penis so you can do something and talk about something. Conversely, having vagina also gives you some specific “rights.” As an Asian, it might look weird for the viewer if I address some issue about other cultures and races. Do these problems result from the outer appearance or inside us? Can we deal with these issues by changing our appearance? Will we look diverse or only ridiculous? Sometimes we just have questions and no answers.



  • A Study of Colors
  • Year: 2018
    Medium: one channel video