It will take about another week for the giant inflatable Rubber Duck to sail into Victoria Harbour, but its creator has made an early appearance to appease the city’s frenzied media.
Dutch artist and duck creator Florentijn Hofman said he was surprised and overwhelmed by the excessive enthusiasm the city’s media had showed for his work of art over the past few week, including sneaking around trying to locate it.
"I know you guys are very excited as I can see it in the news and on the internet," Hofman said during a press conference on Thursday.
The Rubber Duck, which first appeared in France in 2007, has to go through numerous testings before it can make sail into Victoria Harbour on May 2.
The 16.5-metre-tall Rubber Duck that is set to appear in the harbour is the second-largest Hofman has ever created, his largest one being a 26 metre tall specimen shown in France.
Hofman said that even though this version of his iconic public art piece has travelled to arts festivals around the world, including making an appearance at the opening of the Sydney Festival at beginning of this year, it is still a challenge to bring it to Hong Kong.
Three concrete anchors, each weighing three tonnes, will be needed to stop the rubber bird from floating away in Victoria Harbour's rough waters.
The duck is made up of 200 component pieces. The bottom of the duck is a floating stage with a diameter of 13.75 metres. Inside the duck, air pumps work around the clock to ensure the duck holds its shape.
Hofman is well-known for his "larger-than-life" public art works that break the boundaries between people and the aloofness of public art spaces. "Huge works stand out in architecture," he said.
The artist was inspired by objects from different parts of the world, those found in flea markets, toys and by his children, said the 36-year-old father of three.
"Once I had my first child ... I see their needs from a parent’s perspective. It’s very important to me," said the artist.