A visit from a giant, inflated “Rubber Duck” turned Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour into a bathtub on Thursday.
Thousands of Hong Kong citizens looked on as the 54-foot inflatable structure made its long-awaited entrance into the city’s harbor, CNN reports. The highly anticipated arrival came after two weeks of intense hype from local media outlets.
For Florentijn Hofman, the Dutch artist behind the beloved Rubber Duck, Hong Kong’s response to the floating art display was nothing short of overwhelming. The 36-year-old told CNN he was happy to be visiting Hong Kong, though his inflatable friend got there first.
"I've wanted to come for years -- and my duck made it here before me!" Hofman said.
The yellow duck came to rest beside the harbor’s Ocean Terminal, with a brass band and thousands of camera shutters providing the soundtrack.
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"Hong Kong has been changed forever," Hofman said, as Rubber Duck became a temporary part of the city’s skyline.
The giant bath toy is quite the world traveler. Since beginning its international journey, Rubber Duck has made appearances in Osaka, Sydney, San Paolo and Amsterdam, CNN reports. It will remain in Hong Kong’s harbor until June 9, and then it heads to the United States.
Despite the duck’s youthful evocations, Hofman insists that his art project is for grownups, too.
"I see it as an adult thing. It makes you feel young again. It refers to your childhood when there was no stress or economic pressure, no worry about having to pay the rent," Hofman told CNN.
While the duck has elicited laughs and delighted responses from onlookers, Hofman acknowledges that his project isn’t for everyone.
"If it makes you smile, then that's OK, but maybe it makes you cry because of the urban environment. I make work not to give answers but to question things.”
The father of three initially conceived the art display in 2001, but he’s not done thinking about it just yet.
"It's getting complex because I have so many thoughts about it and so many minutes of talking and thinking about it," he told CNN.
Hofman urged everyone to formulate their own opinion on the free art display.
"Be amazed, be creative. Look at it with your eyes and absorb the energy of the work in this location," he said.
When it finishes its stay in Hong Kong, Rubber Duck will be headed to the United States, but Hofman isn’t giving away the exact location.
"In the States, it will stay a secret until the last week."