The series of “Menu” consists of three stages. In the first stage, I make a micro-pigment ink drawing on the recto of a page in my sketchbook. The image is about my memory of the day, expressed in lines and dots. In the second stage, I work on the verso of that page, writing down a color word that represents my mood during that day. One sketchbook has 72 sheets and thus 72 images and 72 color names. I have worked on this sketchbook project, “Equivocal Landscape,” over 20 years since 1998.
The third stage involves five wood boards. One is painted in black, and four, in white. On the black-painted board, I transcribe all the color names in the sketchbook with a white color pencil. I begin with the first color word in the sketchbook and put it at the bottom of the board, then the second above it, then the third above the second, and so on so forth, as though a tree trunk grows toward the sky. Next, I move on to the four white-painted boards and oil pastels. On one of them, I redraw all the drawings in their respective colors as annotated in the sketchbook pages. On the other three, I rewrite all the words on each of them, one on top of each other. Each board has a different color scheme. On one, I follow the color words in the sketchbook to determine the colors I use. On the other two, I use single colors, black or white. The end effect may look like clouds of illegible colored letters. However, if the color words I wrote in the sketchbook are phonograms that has seemingly no color, no shape, or no size, “Menu: The Color Annotation” I thus created from the collection of phonograms is a set of things with colors, shapes, and sizes—which may be called “new pictographs.”