Rubber Duck floats into Hong Kong Harbor
HONG KONG _ Rubber Duck, a giant art work by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, floated into Hong Kong Harbor May 2 continuing a round-the-world trek that began in 2007. Rubber Duck has already been spotted in a dozen nations. Its creator says Rubber Duck makes a positive statement. It knows no frontiers, does not discriminate, has no political agenda, eases global tensions, is soft, friendly and for all ages! So what’s your problem?
The 26m tall inflatable based is the standard model bath toy for children everywhere. It travels the world popping up in cities from Auckland to São Paulo to Amsterdam. Hofman’s sculptures often originate from everyday objects. He
crafts them into iconic images: cartoonish blow-ups of reality that alienate and unsettle but are immediately identifiable. In Amsterdam stands an 11-m high bear with a pillow under its arm. Hofman: ‘The bear is tough and is standing straddle-legged. Those who live in this neighborhood have to stand their ground.”
Rubber Duck is the world’s largest. It brings to mind a 1992 Pacific storm that blew 3 containers holding 28,800 plastic turtles, ducks, beavers and frogs – called Floatees by the manufacturer _ off a cargo ship. Two-thirds floated south and arrived 3 months later in Indonesia, Australia, and South America. The other 10,000 headed for Alaska and, from there, Japan. The movement of the toys was monitored by American oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer. Bleached by sun and seawater, the ducks and beavers had faded to white. But the turtles and frogs had kept their original colors.
PS: The 2007 Guinness World Record for World’s Largest Rubber Duck Collection stood at 5,631. It belongs to one Charlotte Lee.