The Chinese term “大黄鸭” can be translated as “big yellow duck” in English. This term gained notoriety due to the massive yellow inflatable duck that Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman created in 2007.
The huge rubber duck installation has been traveling around the world and has become a symbol of happiness and joy for people who come to see it.
The “big yellow duck” has been displayed in many famous locations, including Sydney Harbor in Australia, the Taoyuan Arts Plaza in Taiwan, and the Thames River in London, among others. Despite its challenging history in China, the “big yellow duck” has been able to connect people of all ages and backgrounds through the simple pleasure of shared delight.
Recently, news and information about the big yellow duck have emerged in Hong Kong.
The return of the inflatable duck installations created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman has been generating excitement and joy among tourists and residents who flock to see them on display in Victoria Harbor. The 18-meter-tall yellow ducks resemble childhood bath toys and serve as symbols of happiness and hope in a world that has faced many challenges in recent years, including the COVID-19 pandemic, political unrest, and armed conflict.
Notably, in 2013, the appearance of Hofman’s giant rubber duck in Hong Kong turned political on the social media platform Weibo, which ultimately led Chinese censors to block searches for the term “big yellow duck.” Nonetheless, the exhibition of the big yellow duck continues to provide a delightful distraction for people worldwide, bringing the promise of positivity and connection.
On Friday, two massive inflatable ducks floated in Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbor, signaling the return of a pop-art project that generated excitement in the city a decade ago.
These yellow ducks, standing 18 meters tall and designed by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, resemble the childhood bath toys of many visitors. After their launch, tourists and residents alike gathered at the promenade adjacent to the government headquarters in Admiralty to snap photos of the ducks.
Hofman expressed his hope that the art exhibition would bring joy to the people of Hong Kong and connect them as they create memories together. “Double duck, double luck,” he remarked. “In a world where we have experienced a pandemic, wars, and political upheaval, I believe it is the perfect moment to bring back this double luck.”
The inflatable ducks will remain in Hong Kong for approximately two weeks. Those visiting the harbor recalled the happiness that Hofman’s work had brought to the Tsim Sha Tsui shopping district in 2013.
Several attendees were thrilled to have the opportunity to see a duo of ducks as opposed to just one, as was featured in the previous exhibition.
Artist Laurence Lai was among the visitors who came to see the ducks, and he even brought his paint brushes along to make watercolor paintings of the installations. Lai commented on the negative vibes that have pervaded the city in the last couple of years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, suggesting that it’s time for Hong Kong to move beyond its troubles.
Eva Yang, a resident of Shenzhen who visited with her young daughters, was overjoyed to see the inflatable ducks, noting that they made their sightseeing in Hong Kong much more memorable.
She exclaimed, “They’re spectacular!” The earlier exhibition of Hofman’s duck in 2013 attracted a large crowd of residents and tourists, who flocked to the streets close to the Tsim Sha Tsui pier for a glimpse of the duck.
However, the appearance of the giant yellow duck in Hong Kong in 2013 inadvertently turned political after netizens on Weibo, a popular social media platform in China, shared an image in which the tanks featured in the iconic “Tank Man” photograph from the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown were replaced by a row of oversized giant rubber ducks. Following the circulation of this image, Chinese censors blocked searches for the term “big yellow duck.”
Despite the controversy, Hofman’s giant rubber ducks have travelled the world since 2007 and have garnered significant attention and appreciation from visitors in various cities.