The young entrepreneur bringing art to the masses discusses his work and passions with #legend.
Where did you get the inspiration for your company, McNamara Art Projects?
I’m born and raised in Hong Kong but I moved to London when I was 24 because I was fed up with the fact that there was so little art and culture here. After a year or two away, I realised I could bring that art culture to the city.
What’s the goal for the company and the space in Wong Chuk Hang?
The mission is to engage people with the arts and hopefully have that experience inspire them. There is no “bigger picture”, it’s just about affecting people’s daily lives and bringing them happiness and inspiration. Hong Kong is such a fast-paced environment that no one has the time to take a moment or to reflect. That’s the purpose of public art.
How do you find your artists?
As silly as this may sound, through life. I’ll hear about them through friends or find them on Instagram, although mostly I come across artists while I’m travelling.
What artists are you fascinated by?
I’m very focused on young, figurative painters. In the past 10 years there has been a strong movement towards the abstract but I think the shift is now towards figurative work.
What up-and-coming artists should we know about?
Jisan Ahn is a Korean painter and his technique is remarkable; there’s Claire Tabouret and Jesse Mockrin, two Los Angeles-based female artists; and Takahiro Iwasaki, who does these amazing wooden sculptures, very delicate and detailed. He also does sculptures made from the thread of the ribbon of a book – it’s entirely unique and that’s so hard to find.
What is your dream artwork to have at home?
I’d love to have a Caravaggio painting or a Bernini sculpture. My love is 17th century baroque Roman art.
Besides art, what are you most passionate about?
Motorbikes, the ocean and travelling.
What’s your most prized possession?
Can I say determination? Either that or my (François-Xavier and Claude) Lalanne sheep. We have just done an exhibition of their work.
Coolest fashion item?
I have a hat obsession. I have the same hat in about six different colours.
When are you happiest?
Do you have a favourite fashion designer?
What are you obsessed with right now?
I’m reading more books and using fewer electronic devices. I’m now reading the Elon Musk biography and The Razor’s Edge.
What would you be lost without?
What’s your worst habit?
Hoyo de Monterrey Petit Robusto cigars.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
The Oriental Spa at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental.