Rubber Duck

Inflatable duck causes social media stir in Hong Kong

Thousands have flocked for a glimpse of the sculpture, but not everyone is impressed

PUBLISHED : Monday, 06 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 06 May, 2013, 7:08am

Not everyone, it seems, is charmed by the inflatable Rubber Duck sitting on the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront.

Tens of thousands flocked for a glimpse of the yellow inflatable sculpture over the weekend, but it has prompted ridicule among some internet users, and one even posted a video of it exploding, raising fears somebody could try to damage it.

The 16.5-metre-tall piece by Dutch conceptual artist Florentijn Hofman has been a major talking point since it floated into Victoria Harbour on Thursday.

One YouTube user, Hongkongloki, posted a 12-second video entitled "Bombing the massive duck that has flooded Facebook", which showed the blow-up bird exploding and disappearing mysteriously into the sea. Alongside it the user posted: "But please don't destroy [it] - it is illegal," to counter concerns the video could prompt somebody to damage the duck.

It had attracted 24,000 hits by yesterday afternoon.

"I don't know why the duck is so worth watching and deserves so many posts [on Facebook]," another user said. Some condemned the video for a "lack of taste" and said it could prompt people to damage public property.

Rubber Duck is one of several inflatable art pieces currently being shown in the city. Pictures of the sculptures, including one entitled Complex Pile by American artist Paul McCarthy that resembles excrement, have flooded social networking sites.

One couple even played out a dispute publicly on Facebook about whether to see the duck, Complex Pile or an inflatable roast suckling pig entitled House of Treasures by Cao Fei. The latter two are on display until June 9 in West Kowloon and are part of an exhibition named "Mobile M+: Inflation!" organised by M+, the West Kowloon Cultural District's visual culture museum.

Hofman's Rubber Duck will float outside Ocean Terminal until June 9.