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Rubber Duck

Rubber Duck is an installation created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman built to resemble the yellow bath toy. The 16.5-metre giant Rubber Duck arrived in Hong Kong on May 2, 2013, having visited 12 cities, including Sydney, Osaka and Auckland.

CommentInsight & Opinion

Giant rubber duck has united the city

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 12 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 12 May, 2013, 4:00am

Who would have thought a rubber duck would stir such a frenzy? From news reports to social media, the giant inflatable is the talk of the town, drawing children and adults alike to the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront where the seaborne artwork is moored. Victoria Harbour is its 13th "port of call" around the world, after visits to cities including Osaka and Sydney. Shopping malls and restaurants in the area hope it will bring more customers. It has even become the highlight of a travel agency's art-cum-gourmet special day tour.

Exactly why a "sculpture" modelled on a child's bathtub toy becomes an instant sensation around the world is perhaps a worthy subject for sociologists. Admittedly, it is a heart-warming sweetie. The smiling faces crowding the harbourfront testify to its magic. As its Dutch creator, Florentijn Hofman, says, his 16.5-metre installation transcends frontiers, politics and ages. If local response is any reference, the duck appears to have united the public. It connects the people and uplifts spirits. It has, arguably, done a better job than the government's "Hong Kong Our Home" campaign, which aims to inject positive energy into society and foster social cohesion.

The duck has brought more than fond childhood memories and relief to city stress. Images of our magnificent skyline dwarfed by a bright yellow giant bathtub floatie are not merely a visual treat. That they have gone viral on social media is likely to stimulate more interest in our harbour, without which the attraction would have not been possible. As the artist hoped, it has successfully offered a new perspective on public space.

Having risen from a fishing village to one of the world's biggest ports, the city's maritime heritage cannot be overstated. Sadly, protection and enjoyment of the harbour still leave a lot to be desired. Our visiting friend is a good reminder to us to reflect and appreciate the things we often take for granted. The joy it brings owes much to our lovely harbour, which brings Hong Kong to the world.


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the sun also rises
The giant rubber duck has only brought some excitement and curiosity into this politically-battered city which has just had a docker's strike came to an end after 40 days ! The filibustering staged by 4 so-called radical lawmakers are still in gear while our youngsters' patience with the Leung administration is solving their housing and employment issues are both growing thin.The poor elderly are frustrated with the over-miserly attitude of our incapable financial secretary,John Tsang.Our ICAC is hard-hit by her former Commissioner,Timothy Tong Hin-ming while our chief executive newest instruction: to consider the reactions of our neighbour--Mainland China in our future policies has cast doubt on our much-treasured:'one country,two systems' ! How can this Giant Rubber Duck unite our broken relationships among the different levels of people here ? I wonder.


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