HONG KONG, May 2 – An inflatable bright yellow rubber duck six storeys high sailed into Hong Kong harbour today to the cheers of hundreds of people who gathered to watch the classic bathtime-inspired artistic creation.
The 16.5-metre-tall (54-feet) artwork, conceived by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, dwarfed other craft as it was towed past the city’s iconic skyline by a tugboat a fraction of its size.
Since 2007 the duck has travelled to 13 different cities in nine countries ranging from Brazil to Australia in its journey around the world.
Peggy Shieh, 28, made a special trip from Taiwan to see the duck after she learned about it on Facebook. “It takes me back to my childhood memories,” she said.
People began queuing from as early as 6am for a chance to buy a miniature replica. Kathy Cheung, who was second in line, took half a day off work to ensure she got her piece of art history.
“I think it’s the first and last time I will see a rubber duck in Hong Kong. It has a message for peace but for me it’s just fun,” she said.
Hofman said he hopes the duck, which will stay till June 9, will act as a “catalyst” for connecting people to public art.
“It’s about connecting people... don’t take life for granted, your urban space for granted. You walk every day the same route to work, but look and stop going too fast,” he said.
The duck has already proved a welcome distraction from the everyday routine of city life, with office workers pressing up against skyscraper windows to take pictures.
Twitter and Facebook feeds hailed its arrival, brightening the gloomy weather. “So there’s a duck in HK harbour... a really really big duck!”, said Twitter user JasonGirard.
The southern Chinese city is also exhibiting a land-based collection of inflatable art, including a larger-than-life upside-down cockroach, close to where the rubber duck is moored. – AFP/Relaxnews