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In that space, I feel weightless by Xiao Von

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The AJ Writing Prize 2014: Entry

With that feeling of weightlessness, the tension on my shoulders from the long day seated in front of the computer and drawing table is released. I do not need anyone there with me, I can just jump in, and that volume of space is mine and only mine.

From that space, I am surrounded by a natural landscape. If the space was oriented elsewhere, I would not have this view of lush greenery right in front of my eyes within this bustling city. The trees are almost an extension of the space I am in, breaking all boundaries (even physical ones) to create a freeing space, yet also hiding the bright city lights. It is within this space, I feel truly relaxed and all the stresses of the day disappears. When the wind blows, the leaves rattle and I feel like I’m in a hidden sanctuary. Actually, the natural landscape sits on the next and also its next plot of land, but for now, I might as well enjoy the view as much as I can before someone builds their home.

Square tiles, 35mm by 35mm is the main material used. I still remember the day they arrived on site, hundredths and hundredths of them in boxes labelled Made in Tailand. A few months ago, the architect calculated the surface area of tiles required and picked them out from a catalogue, a catalogue signifcantly flled with any shades of blue and green you can fnd on the Pantone chart. Function-wise, I was told some withstand pressure better than the others. Aesthetic-wise, I was told some poorly graded tiles will actually fade in colour through time, especially in the hot scorching equatorial sunlight that this country receives. Te tiles selected are from a reliable factory, or so I was told. In my eyes, there is nothing extraordinary about the square tiles, but they are extremely ftting for that space and they feel ‘at home’ within the space they have been assigned to fll. Te serene tone of turquoise difers from one tile to the other, especially when the tropical sunlight hits it. Te refraction of colour is beautiful too. Even at night, when the space is artifcially lighted, the turquoise shade seems to shine and glimmer. Maybe it is because the tiles were each painted by hand in Tailand? I imagine a group of workers having a chat with a brush in hand, glazing the tiles in an informal working area. The inconsistency of the strokes of glazing gives a raw quality that I like, a kind of no-fuss where the job is done and it does its job!

There is something about that space. Essentially, it is just a rectangular space with dimensions of 13000mm by 5000mm. Te foor begins at -1000mm and ends at -1500mm. Yes, negative values. The negative values make up a volume of space, and that volume of the space is completely flled with water.

The space is a swimming pool, to be more precise, a lap pool. Te lap pool was conceived at the heart of the house, where the house is in the form of a U-shape and the lap pool snugs comfortably within the available space between the strokes of the letter. I love water. Te body of water within the volume of space creates buoyancy that gives me the most relaxing feeling and I fnd inner peace. Te movement of the water through my body as I foat, I feel that I am weightless and there is nothing in this world that can weigh me down. As my weight displaces the water, the water fows over the pane of specially tempered glass, held together by specifed silicon adhered to the metal plate inserts. Te overfowed water falls below and is recycled and pumped back into the pool. Tis cycle happens again and again, until the water pump system stops at its timer.

For now, I feel weightless.


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