A decade since it famously appeared in Victoria Harbour, Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman’s “Rubber Duck” sculpture has returned to Hong Kong. And this time it has a friend.
Creative studio AllRightsReserved, which often orchestrates public art displays in the city, announced Thursday that a pair of Hofman’s inflatable ducks will float in Hong Kong’s waters for two weeks later this month. The company dubbed the new installation “Double Ducks.”
In an apparent test run for the installation, the two outsized bath toys were spotted being tugged by boats in the waters off Tsing Yi, the territory’s fifth largest island in May. At 18 meters (59 feet) tall, they are slightly larger than the one that made global headlines when it was installed in Hong Kong 10 years ago.
In a press release announcing the project, organizers compared the inflatable duo to the symmetrical Chinese characters “xi” (known as “double happiness”) and “peng” (friend), both of which feature two identical components next to one another.
“Double duck is double luck,” Hofman said in a statement. “The work emphasizes friendship and getting connected … ‘Double Ducks’ is not about looking into the past but enjoying the moment together!”
Conceived in 2001 before debuting in France six years later, “Rubber Duck” appeared in cities including Osaka, Sydney and Sao Paolo before arriving in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory in May 2013. (Although Hofman’s ducks all look alike, he makes a new one for each location.) But the artwork’s previous arrival in Victoria Harbour made a splash worldwide — in part because it mysteriously deflated overnight before being reinflated days later.