Seeping through the reed, following the path towards the open water, the jumping stems makes the sound of the wind coming from Lake Tai. Fang Zhi Zhai slowly reveals itself floating in the water waiting for visitors for greetings. The bottom of the lake is visible at foot, where the silver fishes plays hide and seek with the crabs. Moving the eyes down from the walls that veils the spaces beyond, the structure emerges in the flickering lights and shadows of the water surface. Moment later, the walls that the eyes just passed reappears again portraying a twin space that dwells underwater. A scholar lives here and greets the visitors who come to seek and learn. He was once a visitor also and found here to be his home after the scholar before him left.
The space is introverted to the land, and extraverted to the water. It allows the visitors’ minds to fully submerge in the reverie of water in between these unfolding walls. Walking through the spaces, glimpses of the reflected walls leads the visitors to another world, and ponders the space behind. The visitors walks towards and into the reflected world to access the submerged room of the book collection. Remerging from the other end, and found themselves transposed to the other end of the space.
This is a place that reflects itself, and the space above and below the water surface are equally perceived and experienced by the visitors. The eyes are filled with constant fluctuation, containing the above water structure, the reflected image, and the submerged underwater structure. Here, the above and below are interlocking, and the boundary that separates is blurred and penetrable.
Water is the medium of transformation and the site for dreams between physical reality and virtuality. The imagery of water in relationship to ground is the state of being that is very crucial to Chinese culture, which is the ideal conception of life and living. In Chinese paintings, water is the white space on the paper. One does not need to add any extra strokes to represent water, because the surroundings presents it. Gason Bachelard wrote, “The true eye of the earth is water. In our eyes it is the water that dreams.” Across cultures, we are seeing the same water ultimately. The phenomenon of water draws us into it, to dream and to reverberate. It is the white space that dreams, that allows one to construct the space in the mind.
The construct of our sense of water in its physical presence and imaginary presence completes our perception of water. My studies revolves around the physical presence of reflection, refraction and standing waves in a confined body of water. Learning from water, and to seek how the phenomenon of reverberation generated by water can establish an order for an ephemeral space. There are constant fluctuations through this medium between the perceiver (perceived) and the perceived (perceiver). The simultaneity of virtual and physical reality invites us into the space of reverberation, and transposes one between both the virtual and physical reality. This visual construct creates the space that embodies the affection of water.
Water and Reverie
water as the visual construct of ephemeral space
I grew up near the water. Even though I have moved from place to place, water has always been there. I thought it is particularly special for me, but I came to realize the phenomenon of water is what we as human beings long for. We strive to dwell in spaces that embodies its affection. Water is not just a form of a fluid, its phenomenal construct yields the dreaming consciousness.
What is the reality, truth, presence, authenticity, object, original, or beginning?
Am I the perceiver or the image of me in water the perceiver?
Am I drifting with you or you are moving with me?
Reflection with glimpses of bright light,
transparent to opaque, the change in depth,
or, is it really transparent or solid?
These constant fluctuations through this medium between the perceiver (perceived) and the perceived (perceiver) fulfill the reverie. The remnants resonate with our mind and completes the space, and this is water and its reverie.
Two Perspectives but One
In this situation, it involves two states of being, quiet state and the undulating state. In other words, one is gazing at the edge of the calm water, the other is oscillating along with the standing wave. These two situations are dedicated for the perceiver and the perceived interchangeably, which introduces the relationship between two kinds of space inhabiting. The motion of acceding and descending within the field reaches for the peak and valley, to submerge and emerge.
Shallow water, Deep Water and Fluctuation
From seeing through to the perceived opaque body of water, the undulating wave and the reflected image have always been there. They exchange their intensity as my eyes move from close to far. My reflected image is a silhouette when water is at my foot, and it floats on the surface. Here, I am seeing through. On the other side of the water body, the reflected image of you (or my other self) is so real that penetrates through the water surface. Here, I am also seeing through.
The phenomenal construct of water forms the reverie, and directs me to a series of interrelationships of the perceivers inhabiting this construct. These three moments allows the programed spaces to happen for a place of learning.