ART
Morgana Matus

Chinese Counterfeiters Copy Florentijn Hofman's Giant Rubber Duck Across China

by , 06/03/13
filed under: Art, News

florentijn hofman, hong kong, yellow duck, floating, installation, art

China’s copycat architecture trend has already been well documented – but we never expected the country’s imitators to start replicating gigantic rubber ducks! Florentijn Hofman‘s giant, inflatable yellow duck has graced ports and harbors across the globe – however its fame has made it the latest target for Chinese counterfeiters. Ever since the 54-foot friendly fowl arrived in Hong Kong, cities across the mainland have sprouted their own unofficial versions. Dubious imposter ducks have shown up in Dongguan, wearing a blue hair bow and long eyelashes; Xi’an, where it was housed behind metal gates; and a duck has been promised to appear in Wuhan next.

florentijn hofman, hong kong, yellow duck, floating, installation, art

The arrival of Florentijn Hofman‘s duck at Wuhan was not sanctioned by the artist. A local newspaper mistakenly reported that the bird’s arrival was a part of an agreement between a Chinese real-estate developer for Country Garden and the duck’s creator. When a spokeswoman invited reporters from China Real Time to visit the installation, she declined to comment on whether or not the duck was the real deal.

“I’ve always said the rubber duck is a yellow catalyst,” Hofman said. “Right now what it is showing is that there is a lack of trust in China, and that is an enormous problem . . . If I was a Chinese person, I would revolt. I would really revolt,” he said. “This kills society, this kind of behavior.”

In a country where many travel to large cities to ensure what they are purchasing is authentic, Hofman’s duck is a bright, looming symbol of China’s obsession with appearance over true provenance. It brings to mind questions of authenticity in the domains of manufacturing and art, and whether or not ideas and designs can truly be owned by an individual. Regardless, giant ducks continue to multiply in China without the approval of the original creator.

+ Florentijn Hofman

Via The Wall Street Journal

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2 Comments

  1. scootie June 12, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    I suppose passing off a copy as the original has no consequences?

  2. SLSSSL June 10, 2013 at 7:33 am

    What are you talking about?

    The duck artwork has appeared in several cities around the world.
    Also, the ‘meaning’ of the rubber duck is that,’We’re one family and all the waters in the World is our global bathtub’, yet people feel the need to make comments that go against this.
    It has been imitated in honour of the artwork of Hoffman’s great creation.
    I hope most people who read disgusting articles like this will have a brain to think up their own opinions and not base every judgement on things that they read or hear

    Think before you continue portraying yourself as an ignorant, narrow-minded follower.
    Good luck on your ‘career’ critisising and judging people as a whole from behind your computer screen.

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