A sudden weather change is being blamed for popping a huge inflatable abstract sculpture resembling a pile of excrement in West Kowloon.
The 15.5 metre-tall Complex Pile, by acclaimed and controversial American artist Paul McCarthy, is part of a display of inflatable art on show in West Kowloon. It was found damaged yesterday after a sudden downpour on Thursday night following a day of sunshine.
Staff at the arts hub site decided to deflate the work.
"A small hole was discovered on the surface of the piece. We are doing our best to fix it and hopefully we can inflate the artwork as soon as possible," a spokeswoman for the West Kowloon Cultural District said. She ruled out vandalism. "We believe it is because of the weather," she said.
While Complex Pile has drawn debate about whether it is art - many of McCarthy's works are themed around bodily functions, sex and the limits of social conventions - it has also been the most talked about piece of the six inflatable sculptures that make up Mobile M+: Inflation!
The exhibition is organised by M+, the West Kowloon visual culture museum set to open in 2017.
The accident stirred a minor local buzz online, with people posting pictures and humorous captions.
Complex Pile is not the only victim: Korean artist Choi Jeong-hwa's Black Lotus has also been damaged and deflated.
The other four pieces - Jeremy Deller's Sacrilege, a life-size bouncy castle modelled on Stonehenge, Tomas Saraceno's Poetic Cosmos of the Breath, Tam Wai-ping's cockroach and naked legs combo Falling into the Mundane World and Cao Fei's suckling pig House of Treasures - remain intact. The exhibition runs until June 9.