Whenever artistic ideas came to mind, Nam June Paik whimsically scribbled them out, unhesitatingly on whatever was available at the moment, on the margins of book pages or on a restaurant’s napkins. Paik also built up his ideas by jotting down things cumulatively on a notebook. In this 50-page notepad whose cover features Snoopy of the comic strip Peanuts, Paik transcribed part of 41st and 42nd Hexagrams from the Book of Changes. Hexagram 41 for Decrease, named 損 ‘diminishing,’ consists of its inner trigram 澤 ‘swamp,’ and its outer trigram 山 ‘mountain.’ Hexagram 42 for Increase named 益 ‘augmenting,’ consists of its inner trigram 雷 ‘thunder,’ and its outer trigram 風 ‘wind.’ From Paik’s elegant handwriting you can see the extent to which he mastered the characters and their meanings. The first page of the notepad contains something like a math equation, which is in fact Paik’s drawing that only uses question marks to express two faces looking at each other and a heart form.
Nam June Paik
small notebook; ink on paper