Widely recognised for bringing numerous public art installations across Asia, graffiti artist Futura (or Leonard Hilton McGurr) has been in the scene as early as the 1970s. The American artist caught the attention of many in the 1980s when he established himself as a leading voice alongside a wider art movement that included Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring.
Futura takes pride in being self-taught in what he calls, "the subway school", with his works being exhibited in notable museums from MoCA in Los Angeles, MoMA in New York to Palais de Tokyo. He's also no stranger to collaborating with brands which include Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Nike and Off-White.
Now, the artist is back in Hong Kong to debut Futuraland, his largest public installation to date. Tatler caught up with Futura about this new exhibition, why he chose Hong Kong and why he had to be here in person for the installation.
Congratulations on your Futuraland installation! How’s it teaming up with AllRightsReserved (ARR) to make this happen?
It’s been fantastic. It’s an honour working with SK Lam and his team at AllRightsReserved. We have been working on this project (from concept to reality) for nearly two year and the production/launch of Futuraland has exceeded all expectations.
This is your largest publication installation to date, did you specifically choose Hong Kong for this?
The choice of Hong Kong is a byproduct of proximity and timing. However, I do have a strong connection to Hong Kong and consider the city one of my “adopted second-homes”. I first visited in 1975 as a 19-year old in the Navy and I have been coming back ever since. I have great memories and friends here.
Are there any reasons for choosing Landmark Hong Kong for showcasing Futuraland?
Back in the 80s, I was invited to Hong Kong with a group of graffiti writers and we stayed at the Furama Hotel in Central. I remember having to always pass by the Landmark on my way to eat at Tsui Wah. When ARR suggested the Landmark, it seemed like an appropriate and natural location for the X-6000 Rocketship to land.