Point Datum is the latest series of paintings by the London based artist William Monk, which draw routes in some vast and unknowable virtual scenes. The Monk eloquently called it a “bounded arrangement”; a set of parameters used for connection. Make a series of physically fixed points by painting, and also a series of determinants in a series of painting choices, from proportions and tones to the encounter of colours that produce lines and borders. The “reference point”, that is, the artist’s inversion of the title implies geographic location, which refers to the start and end points, or two points are required to define a route or path. For the artist, this not only recognizes the virtual space of images, but also the space between images and paintings, and between the keen observer and the painting. As he explained: “The imaginary painting space is both abstract and image, and so is the text space. Both are physical and metaphysical.” Just like music, the space between notes can form a form., The monk’s paintings are displayed with a locked fixed camera perspective, while mocking the mystery beyond the boundary between us and the border.
The paintings of the artist are certainly unique, but they establish meaning through their sequence, through the seeming repetition of symbols and images, canvas by canvas. The exhibition itself is also fixed, or linked together, as Monk explained: “the 20 paintings in Point Datum showing in Hong Kong is specifically linked to the Grimm Gallery show Mount Atom, in Amsterdam, they are brother and sister, another point of measurement between two forms, two locations and two continents.” Once again, we observe the artist’s return to the addictive self-description of images, shapes, lines, and color patterns, or simply his investment in painting issues and the pursuit of creation. As the artist suggested, “we look for meaning in what happens, not in what exists.” The beauty or revelation of the artist’s “Dot Benchmark” is that we set foot on a set meaning, metaphysical, illusory, and the journey of the world.