The local creative studio behind attention-grabbing installations such as a giant rubber duck in Victoria Harbour and an army of papier mache pandas will fly a hot-air balloon in the shape of a character created by the artist Kaws over cities around the world – but not Hong Kong. AllRightsReserved founder Lam Shu-kam , told the Post that the 42-metre balloon – shaped like the character Companion – would be one of the world’s largest, roughly 12 storeys tall and able to carry three to four people at a time. The balloon will take off from such destinations as mainland China, Australia, France, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Spain, Turkey, Britain and the United States in late 2021, subject to final demand. “It is an exciting programme, but it can’t be launched in Hong Kong,” Lam said. He added that a combination of factors made the project a non-starter in the city, such as a lack of flat, open spaces and Hong Kong’s stringent aviation regulations. Lam was coy about the cost of the balloon featuring the signature creation of the American street artist Kaws – whose real name is Brian Donnelly – but said it was made in Britain for at least HK$10 million (US$1.3 million). Though the latest project will not be visiting any time soon, Hong Kong is no stranger to Kaws’ Companion. The character last made an appearance in Hong Kong in 2019 when a 37-metre inflatable Companion was set afloat in the middle of Victoria Harbour, drawing huge crowds. The installation subsequently travelled to Korea, Taiwan and Japan.