Florentijn Hofman

Florentijn Hofman

Florentijn Hofman (b. 1977) is a Dutch artist known for playful urban installations such as the ‘Rubber Duck’ (a giant floating sculpture). They were built in various sizes, including one created in 2007 that is the largest rubber duck in the world at 105 feet long. Hofman’s tour was named ‘Spreading joy around the world.’ He aimed to recall everyone’s childhood memories by exhibiting the duck in 14 cities. The ducks are constructed with more than 200 pieces of PVC. There is an opening at the back of the body so that staff can perform maintenance. In addition, there is an electric fan in its body so that it can be inflated at any time, in either good or bad weather.

Since 2007, the ducks have been on display in Amsterdam, Belgium, Osaka, Sydney, Sao Paulo, Hong Kong, and Pittsburg. In 2009, while it was on display in Belgium, vandals stabbed the duck 42 times. The duck on display in Hong Kong was damaged and deflated in Taiwan after an earthquake, before bursting a few weeks later. In 2013, Sina Weibo, China’s most popular microblog, blocked the terms ‘Big Yellow Duck.’ The censorship occurred because a photoshopped version of ‘Tank Man’ (the Tiananmen Square protester), which swapped all tanks with this sculpture, had been circulating.

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