Neither, Nor and Both

A conceptual storytelling project on losing a sense of belonging.

Neither, Nor and Both is a conceptual storytelling project by Probably Joel. The work is based on my most recent visit to my homeland, Hong Kong, where I find himself feeling more like an outsider and less like being home. The exhibited work creates the experience of being in a virtual ethnic enclave—a Chinatown of sorts manifested from my 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 illumination. 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 fad- ing 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.