Joy Li Competitive Scholarship Application

  • Joy Li
    Portfolio 2018-2019
  • Ghost

    Year: 2018
    Medium: Hair, Steel Rod
    Size: 23"x23"x33.5"

    Through this piece, I want to express a state of isolation. Sometimes, instead of being physically isolated from the outside world, we will be mentally or spiritually isolated from the present through a preoccupied. 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 not around me anymore or will inevitably leave me one day. I chose a structure of a house in that, being enveloped by traces of absent people, I feel a kind of warm and intimacy, but it also creates an isolated space.

  • So Close Yet So Far 

    Year: 2018
    Medium: Led Light, Motion Sensor, Canvas 
    Size: Φ20’’x4.5’’ 

    When one thing is intangible, we easily romanticize it, but once we grasp it, the illusion we had before suddenly disappears. I want the viewers to experience disappointment in this interactive piece. I created a small space which is filled with rosy light coming from a circular light hanging on the wall. There is a narrow entrance so viewers can see light and enter into the space. Once the audience steps into the room, the light will turn off immediately; when the audience steps out, the light will turn on again. The circular shape of the light is inspired by the shape of moon, and the color of the light, pink in the center fading out to a warm orange, creates a atmosphere of warmth.

  • Ambiguous 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.


  • A Guide for Crossing Borders

    Year: 2018
    Medium: Photo Printed on Paper
    Size: 31”x 45”

    Through this piece, I want to talk about how we can understand other’s emotions and feelings. I am inspired by the finding of the marks the metal bed frame made on the mattress when I was changing the bed sheet. To feel the pain suffered by that mattress, I laid naked on the bed frame  for around forty minutes. After this performance, I had the same marks of the mattress. Sharing the same experience with the objects evokes the empathy.

  • Restless

    Year: 2018
    Medium: Wood, Metal, Crystal Ball, Magnify Mirror 
    Size: Variable 

    Daily objects are used to create a set inspired by the myth of Sisyphus. I want to show the absurdity of having repetitive and endless struggles during our daily life and the subtle beauty of it, a feeling shared by Sisyphus returning toward his rock again and again and seeing it fall from the height. The unstable table, the magnify mirror hanged too high and the the chair without seat cushions that people can not sit on constitute a set. I used those daily objects, which have the opposite of their original function, to emphasis the absurdity and the unstableness of life having repetitive struggles.