A Decade Later, The Giant Inflatable Rubber Duck Graces the City Once More
Double Ducks 10 Years Challenge. Photo courtesy of AllRightsReserved.
Renowned Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman is set to return triumphantly with yet another awe-inspiring, site-specific masterpiece. With his iconic giant Rubber Duck reclaiming the spotlight, anticipation builds as audiences eagerly await the moment of this whimsical event. This time around, as the saying goes, ‘two is better than one’, two Rubber Ducks will take center stage in this upcoming occasion.
The Rubber Duck: From Bath-Time Companion to Cultural Icon
The ducks were spotted during a test run in Hong Kong on May 25, 2023. Photo courtesy of AllRightsReserved.
In the realm of large-scale urban installations, Hofman consistently delivers with success. Drawing inspiration from the iconic yellow bath toy patented by Tolo, Hofman presents us with a marvel called Rubber Duck. Since its debut in 2007, this vibrant inflatable creation has embarked on a globe-trotting adventure – from the vibrant streets of São Paulo to the beautiful waters of Osaka, from the bustling cityscape of Toronto to the sun-kissed shores of Los Angeles, and even as far as the energetic metropolis of Seoul.
Hofman describes his yellow Rubber Duck as knowing no frontiers. “It doesn’t discriminate people and doesn’t have a political connotation. The friendly, floating Rubber Duck has healing properties: it can relieve global tensions as well as define them. The Rubber Duck is soft, friendly, and suitable for all ages.” This statement suggests the artwork’s inherent power to unite different people and cultures, ignite meaningful intercultural conversations, reveal worldly social issues and help to mitigate those issues, and hence to have place-specific relevance. The Rubber Duck has become one of Hofman’s most prominent exhibitions and installations.
Quacking Creativity: Hofman’s DOUBLE DUCKS Takes Over Hong Kong
The ducks waddling in the waters near Tsing Yi. Photo courtesy of AllRightsReserved.
Like a long-lost friend returning to our embrace, the project titled DOUBLE DUCKS is set to make a comeback in Hong Kong on 10th June 2023. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Hofman’s Rubber Duck’s visit to Hong Kong. In 2013, when the Rubber Duck made its grand entrance into the city, it stirred a massive spectacle, drawing a fantastic gathering of over eight million visitors to Victoria Harbour. This time, it has brought a friend. Onlookers will be able to see the return of Hofman’s familiar yellow Rubber Duck and its identical twin.
The duck gazed at the crowd from the waters of Victoria Harbour in 2013. Photo courtesy of AllRightsReserved.
The ducks, standing tall at an impressive 18 meters, will grace the waters of Hong Kong. They will be stationed near Tamar Park and the Central and Western District Promenade during their time in the city. Over the years, the essence of public art has undergone a remarkable evolution since the arrival of the yellow Rubber Duck at Victoria Harbour in 2013. As a result, it is with a conscious decision and thought that the creators have chosen to introduce the ducks to the public in ways more intimate than the highlight harbor installation.
A remarkable series titled Double Ducks with Hong Kong Signature Icons has been launched alongside this. This captivating collection presents a variety of unique renditions of Double Ducks, adorning prominent locations across Hong Kong’s cityscape. Landmarks like the Clock Tower and Space Museum in Tsim Sha Tsui, the vibrant Lan Kwai Fong district, and the picturesque Choi Hung Estate all serve as canvases for these unique portrayals. Hong Kong’s MTR stations, including the transformed ‘Double-Ducks Exit’ at Admiralty’s Exit E, will be adorned with cute double-duck-themed decorations, creating a playful ambience throughout the city.
Hofman X AllRightsReserved: A Collaborative Showcase of Artistic Brilliance
The ducks sailing away in the waters near Tsing Yi. Photo courtesy of AllRightsReserved.
Hofman collaborated with the creative brand AllRightsReserved to present this mesmerizing spectacle as part of the celebration. The organizers drew a parallel between the inflatable duo and the symmetrical Chinese characters ‘囍’ (happiness) and ‘朋’ (friend), representing the interconnectedness and shared prosperity found in partnerships and friendships. This concept beautifully doubles the joy and happiness of uniting as one. Also the organizers further state that “In the imminent transformation of Victoria Harbour into a colossal bathtub, the ‘DOUBLE DUCKS’ will be juxtaposed amusingly with the vibrant skyline of the harbor, constructing a fascinating panorama.”
In short, the DOUBLE DUCKS project aims to tap into the transformative and uplifting nature of artistic expression. With the support of the Hong Kong Tourism Board and the MTR, these organizations come together, acknowledging the potential of art to foster connection, inspire harmony, and leave an unforgettable mark on the collective spirit of the community.
The ducks were getting ready to jump into the big bathtub. Photo courtesy of AllRightsReserved.
This captivating project DOUBLE DUCKS is an absolute must-see for both residents and visitors, promising to appeal to those who appreciate a lighthearted and welcoming atmosphere. Also the artist’s journey will connect to the exhibition “More Yellow” in Japan. Prepare to be amused and make your way to the DOUBLE DUCKS exhibition at Victoria Harbour and the solo exhibition in Tokyo, where laughter and enjoyment await!