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Beijing to have its own real Rubber Duck in September

By Chen Lidan (People's Daily Online)

09:23, June 23, 2013

Dutch conceptual artist, Rubber Duck's "papa" Florentijin Hofman shows the present from Beijing Design Week (BJDW) organizer in press meeting in Beijing, June 22, 2013. (People's Daily Online/Chen Lidan)

BEIJING, June 22 (People's Daily Online) -- Besides the home-made roast duck, Beijing will greet another well-known duck this autumn. Dutch artist, “papa” of the giant yellow Rubber Duck, Florentijin Hofman signed an agreement with Beijing Design Week (BJDW) Saturday afternoon on the advent of real and original yellow duck in Beijing.

As a great gift from BJDW’s guest city Amsterdam, the Rubber Duck will make its Beijing debut in this September. The BJDW organizer said the size of Beijing’s duck may be 10 meters high, shorter than the one showcased in Hong Kong.

Another mission of Hofman’s Beijing visit is to find a suitable place to show the duck. Zeng Hui, vice director of BJDW Organizing Committee, said the exhibition site is still under discussion but it may be at the heart of Beijing so duck admirers can have an easy access.

Hofman created his first duck in 2007, which is also the world’s largest rubber duck. Since 2007, several Hofman’s ducks of various sizes have visited 13 cities of 10 countries. Before Beijing, Hong Kong is the first Chinese city that hosts the duck.

As a special present given by BJDW's guest city Amsterdam, the Rubber Duck project will visit Beijing this September and stay for about one month. BJDW will be held from Sept. 26 to Oct. 3 in Beijing.

About eight millions of Hong Kong locals and visitors flocked to Victoria Harbor to view the duck during its one-month stay. An abrupt and dramatic deflation incident of the duck captured more Chinese people’s eyes, thanks to weibo, a twitter-like Chinese service.

“I always call it yellow catalyst. It has different meanings and layers and you can all project on it,” said Hofman.

The popularity of Hofman’s duck catalyzed an array of duck knockoffs in China. It’s reported that the copycat ducks have appeared in many cities around China such as Tianjin, Hangzhou, Foshan, Wuhu, and Wuxi.

“It’s a surprise to me, what happened in Hong Kong and cheap copies around China. To be honest, I don’t want to put many words about the issue, copies and copycats. The only thing I would like to say is Beijing will get the real, original Rubber Duck,” Hofman responded after signing with BJDW.

BJDW said they have made anti-piracy measures for the duck. The organizer said they have confidence to make the rubber duck artist feel resolution and action of Beijing for copyright and creativity protection.

“We can show China that the originality and creativity must be supported and also it’s the aim of culture. Without being creative and original, culture and humanity may stay stagnant. So I’m very happy that the Rubber Duck as a catalyst can show to people if you are original, if you are creative and if you have a joyful mind, you will come to create yourself,” said Hofman.

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