24 June 2022
We are thrilled to announce that Joe Nickols, who completed a Masters in the Department of Art and Archaeology in September 2021, has had a journal article published in the SOAS Journal of Postgraduate Research. The article was developed from an essay Joe submitted for the MA module on Modern and Contemporary Korean Art, taught by Dr Charlotte Horlyck. This article explores Nikki S. Lee's photography series 'Projects' within the context of American Globalism and Multiculturalism. Lee's series questions the containment of individuals within social groupings based upon external attributes. The series, created between 1997-2001, depicts Lee integrating into multiple subcultures across America.
In his article, Joe argues that Lee's series forces the viewer to comprehend the limitations of assigned identity and simultaneously proposes transcultural categories based upon personal experience and nuance. Joe says: "I wanted to explore Lee's work as I was reflecting on the pressures we experience in society today to conform to certain groupings. Due to the rise of social media and the pervasive presence of images in our lives it seemed important to examine a photographic series in this way. Furthermore, early critiques of the series seemed to be missing a transcultural element in the discourse that my article seeks to open up." Joe's article can be downloaded from SOAS Research Online.
Joe has recently completed their MA with the School of Arts and specialises in East Asia, with a particular focus on Japan and Korea. Joe’s research primarily explores discourse relating to identity construction, queerness, and gender. Their MA dissertation explored the 1920s Japanese anarchic group Mavo and their transgender performance art as an act of political protest. Joe is currently a regular contributor to the SOAS History Blog and more of their articles can be found there, including discussions of gender regulations in Meiji (1868-1912) and Taisho (1912-1926) Japan. Outside of SOAS, Joe has worked internationally in arts education, lecturing in Japan and Italy on various topics. Additionally, Joe is a freelance curator and works closely with contemporary artists on various projects. You can find out more about Joe's work on their website, Instagram and LinkedIn pages.