Rubber Duck (sculpture)

Rubber Duck is a series of several giant floating sculptures of yellow rubber ducks, designed by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, which have appeared in many cities around the world, including Hong Kong, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Kaohsiung, Baku, and Sydney. Each Rubber Duck is recreated anew locally, as his public art is intended to be temporary.[1]


Rubber Duck was created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman. In a 2013 interview, Hofman stated that his initial inspiration came from a 2001 museum visit combined with a popular yoghurt advertisement in the Netherlands in 2000 or 2001. He searched to find what he considered the perfect toy duck and settled on a design by a Hong Kong company called Tolo Toys.[citation needed] The yoghurt company Yogho!Yogho! financed the work.[2]



The size of the rubber duck varies. Hofman's largest rubber duck, in Saint-Nazaire, France, measured, width, length, height of 26 by 20 by 32 metres (85 ft × 66 ft × 105 ft). The rubber duck in Beijing was 14 by 15 by 18 metres (46 ft × 49 ft × 59 ft), and the rubber duck in Seokchon lake was 16.5 by 19.8 by 16.5 metres (54 ft × 65 ft × 54 ft) with a weight of 1,000 kilograms (2,200 lb). The rubber duck was constructed with more than 200 pieces of PVC. All the pieces of PVC are connected by hand with sewing machines.

In order to enhance the duck's durability, they added another piece on top of one layer.[3] On the rubber duck, there is an opening at the back of the body so that architects and staff can perform a body check of the rubber duck. In addition, there is an electric propeller fan in its body so that it can be inflated at any time, in either good or bad weather.[4] The loops that are in the pontoon edges of the rubber duck are connected to the fence of the lake by 16 ropes that are designed to hold the rubber duck still without it floating away by the waves of the lake water. On the bottom of the rubber duck, there is a waterproof cable that gets the energy from a power distribution board near the lake to make the electric propeller fan work.[5] The electric propeller fan also keeps the air circulating inside of the rubber duck, so that the air always keeps the shape of the rubber duck sculpture.


Since 2007, the ducks have been on display in Amsterdam, Baku, Lommel (Belgium), Osaka, Sydney Harbour, Sao Paulo, and Hong Kong.[6] It was on display in Pittsburgh as its first U.S. destination,[7] from 27 September 2013 through 20 October 2013. Over 1,000,000 people are reported to have visited the duck in Pittsburgh.[8][9] Its second United States appearance was in Norfolk, Virginia, from 17–26 May 2014, floating in The Hague Inlet in front of the Chrysler Museum of Art.

In October 2014, South Korea's Lotte group asked for the giant rubber duck to celebrate the opening of the new Lotte World Mall, the country's largest shopping mall that also has a skyscraper, Lotte World Tower.[10] The tower is located between the Han River and Seokchon Lake, where the giant rubber duck was placed.[11][12] However, the duck deflated during the exhibition.[13]

In 2009, while it was on display in Belgium, vandals stabbed Rubber Duck 42 times.[14] While on display in Hong Kong in 2013, it deflated on 15 May.[15] It was re-inflated and was again on exhibition on 20 May.[14] It was damaged and deflated again in Taiwan on 2 November after an earthquake,[16] before bursting at Keelung, Taiwan, on 31 December 2013.[17] The duck was reported as having been swept away in recent floods in China.[18] On 30 September 2017, during its exhibition in Santiago, the duck accidentally crashed into a sign, which tore a hole on its structure and caused it to deflate.[19]

A "counterfeit" version of the duck went on tour around Canada in 2017 for Canada's sesquicentennial. The tour drew some controversy as it was seen by some as a waste of government spending;[20] however reports later found that the sculpture generated profits for the events it attended.[21] This version was not approved by Studio Florentijn Hofman.[22]


On 4 June 2013, China's most popular microblogging website Sina Weibo blocked the term "Big Yellow Duck" to prevent users from posting pictures of the sculpture digitally altered in front of Tank Man, a heavily censored subject in the country. If the blocked term was searched, a message would say: "According to relevant laws, statutes and policies, [the results of the search] cannot be shown."[23]

List of locationsEdit

The Rubber Duck has made appearances in the following locations:

  • Saint-Nazaire, France, 2007 (26×20×32 metres or 85×66×105 feet)[24]
  • São Paulo, Brazil, 2008 (12×14×16 metres or 39×46×52 feet)
  • Osaka, Japan, December 2010 (10×11×13 metres or 33×36×43 feet)
  • Auckland, New Zealand, February 2011 (12×14×16 metres or 39×46×52 feet)
  • Onomichi, Japan, 2012 (10×11×13 metres or 33×36×43 feet)
  • Hasselt, Belgium, July 2012 (12×14×16 metres or 39×46×52 feet)[25]
  • Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, January 2013 (13×14×15 metres or 43×46×49 feet)[26]
  • Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, May 2013 (14×15×16.5 metres or 46×49×54 feet)[27]
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, September 2013 (14×15×16.5 metres or 46×49×54 feet)[8]
  • Beijing, China, September 2013 (14×15×18 metres or 46×49×59 feet)[28]
  • Baku, Azerbaijan, September 2013 (12×14×16 metres or 39×46×52 feet)[29]
  • Kaohsiung, Taiwan (ROC), September 2013 (25×18×18 metres or 82×59×59 feet)[30][31]
  • Taoyuan, Taiwan (ROC), 26 October 2013 (25×18×18 metres or 82×59×59 feet)
  • Keelung, Taiwan (ROC), 20 December 2013 (25×18×18 metres or 82×59×59 feet)
  • Parramatta, Australia, 10–19 January 2014 (13×14×15 metres or 43×46×49 feet)
  • Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, 27 April – 31 May 2014 (22×20×16 metres or 72×66×52 feet)[32]
  • Norfolk, Virginia, United States, 17–26 May 2014 (14×15×16.5 metres or 46×49×54 feet)
  • Hangzhou, Zhejiang, PR China, 30 May – 15 July 2014 (25×18×18 metres or 82×59×59 feet)[33]
  • Los Angeles, California, United States, August 2014 (33×18×26 metres or 108×59×85 feet)[34]
  • Seoul, South Korea, 14 October 2014 – 14 November 2014 (16.5×19.8×16.5 metres or 54×65×54 feet)[35]
  • Shanghai, PR China, 23 October 2014 – 23 November 2014[36]
  • Macau, 29 April 2016 – 27 May 2016[37]
  • Harbin, Heilongjiang, PR China, July–August 2016[38]
  • Toronto, Canada, 1 July 2017 - 3 July 2017 [39]
  • Santiago and Valparaiso, Chile, 28 September 2017 – 8 October 2017[40]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Chow, Vivienne (6 May 2013). "Florentijn Hofman, Rubber Duck artist, is man of principles". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 13 February 2018.
  2. ^ Meija, Carlos (15 May 2017). "Artist Florentijn Hofman Makes the World's Biggest Toys". Fatherly. Retrieved 13 February 2018.
  3. ^ "Hofman's Rubber Ducky Travels the World". EcoGreenGlobe. 25 April 2012.
  4. ^ Sophia Sun (25 April 2013). "6個不可不知的Rubber Duck解碼". Yahoo!.
  5. ^ Avenuel Art Hall, Lotte Gallery. Rubber Duck Project Seoul. Seoul, 2014. Print.
  6. ^ "First Day of Florentijn Hofman's Rubber Duck Exhibition in Hong Kong".
  7. ^ "The Rubber Duck Bridge Party".
  8. ^ a b "Giant rubber ducky quacking tonight in Pittsburgh". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 27 September 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  9. ^ "Duck marks last days; lovable bird to be moved, cleaned, deflated Sunday". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  10. ^ "롯데월드몰 개장 기념으로 데려온 러버덕, 첫날부터 '김 샜다'". MoneyWeek. 14 October 2014.
  11. ^ "Giant rubber duck to arrive in Seoul". The Korea Times.
  12. ^ Woo, Jaeyeon (8 October 2014). "Lotte Invites Monster Duck To Soothe Construction Flap". Wall Street Journal: Korea Realtime.
  13. ^ "Giant Rubber Duck Goes Flat in Seoul".
  14. ^ a b "Fowl play? Giant rubber duck drowns in Hong Kong". CNN. 15 May 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
  15. ^ "Giant rubber duck deflates in Hong Kong". 15 May 2013.
  16. ^ "Giant duck damaged in Taiwan earthquake". 2 November 2013. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
  17. ^ "Giant rubber duck bursts in Taiwan". 31 December 2013.
  18. ^ "China: Giant yellow rubber duck swept away in flood". BBC News. 18 July 2014.
  19. ^ "Insólito: Patito gigante del Parque Quinta Normal terminó roto y desinflado". CNN. 30 September 2017. Retrieved 30 September 2017.
  20. ^ "People are upset about $200k cost of giant rubber duck".
  21. ^ Rushowy, Kristin (12 October 2017). "Giant rubber duck all it was 'quacked up to be,' after all". The Toronto Star.
  22. ^[bare URL image file]
  23. ^ Didi Kirsten Tatlow (4 June 2013). "Censored in China: 'Today,' 'Tonight' and 'Big Yellow Duck'". New York Times.
  24. ^ "Canard de Bain St. Nazaire 2007". Florentijn Hofman. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  25. ^ "Rubber Duck Hasselt 2009". Florentijn Hofman. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  26. ^ "Rubber Duck Sydney 2013". Florentijn Hofman. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  27. ^ "Rubber Duck Hong Kong 2013". Florentijn Hofman. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  28. ^ Laura Zhou (29 August 2013). "Beijing prepares for bigger, better rubber duck than Hong Kong". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  29. ^ "YARAT Contemporary Art Space will proudly present last project of 'PARTİCİPATE' Baku Public Art Festival 'RUBBER DUCK' by a Netherlands artist Florentijn Hofman". Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  30. ^ Olivia B. Waxman (25 July 2013). "Rubber Duck Finds Permanent Home in Taiwan". Time. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  31. ^ Hiufu Wong, CNN (24 September 2013). "Giant duck conquers Taiwan". CNN.
  32. ^ Phan, Lộc. "Chú vịt vàng khổng lồ ở TP HCM" [Gigantic yellow duck in HCMC]. VnExpress. Archived from the original on 9 April 2022. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  33. ^ CFP (30 May 2014). "Giant Rubber Duck waits in wings in Hangzhou". China Daily. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  34. ^ "Tall ships parade, giant yellow duck greeted warmly by thousands along San Pedro Waterfront". Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  35. ^ "Rubber Duck Project Seoul". Archived from the original on 10 January 2016. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  36. ^ "Giant Rubber Duck Graces Shanghai". Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  37. ^ "Macao Science Center".
  38. ^ "18-meter-high rubber duck seen in NE China". Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  39. ^ "Giant Rubber Duck Makes a Splash in Toronto". Retrieved 21 July 2020.
  40. ^ 13, Tele. "Rubber Duck: el mapa con los lugares donde podrás fotografiarte con el pato de hule". (in Spanish). Retrieved 29 September 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  1. Avenuel Art Hall, Lotte Gallery. Rubber Duck Project Seoul. Seoul, 2014. Print.
  2. Rubber Duck Project-Seoul, Artist visited Korea (러버덕프로젝트-서울, 방한) Lee, Minji. "Giant rubber duck enthralls citizens despite Lotte controversy." Yonhap News 20 Oct. 2014. Web.
  3. Giant rubber duck enthralls citizens despite Lotte controversy Rubberdcukproject Seoul. "Rubber Duck Project-Seoul, Artist visited Korea." Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 31 Oct. 2014. Web. 4 Mar. 2016.

External linksEdit