“The Father of Rubber Duck” Looks for Inspiration in Chengdu

Release Time:2017-10-24

    On Jul. 22, 2013, Hofman visited Panda Base and Jinsha Site Museum and others in Chengdu, saying that Chengdu was special to him.

    Florentijn Hofman, ”the Father of Rubber Duck” and the Dutch artist, when showing up in front of the Chengdu media, startled the media. He was tall and handsome, wearing demin jacket and jeans. He revealed his artistic temperament through his talking and behaviors. He came to Chengdu to attend 3-day artistic exchange. He wanted to know more about artists, characteristic places and museums in Chengdu. “I want to look for inspirations in Chengdu and create something about Chengdu. Maybe it won’t work. I just want to say, Chengdu is special to me.”


    Yesterday, Hofman (as the right) visited Panda Base, Jinsha Site Museum, Temple of Marquis, and Kuanzhai Alley in a day. It seemed that he paid much attention to Panda, jadeware and goldleaf. As for whether he would create a work of art, he had no idea.

    See pandas and visit the Temple of Marquis

    According to his schedule, Panda Base, Jinsha Site Museum, Temple of Marquis, and Kuanzhai Alley were the must-see sights for Hofman yesterday. The reporter of Chengdu Commercial Daily came early to accompany him to visit the exhibition halls in Jinsha Site Museum. When asked whether the visits to Giant Panda Base and Jinsha Site Museum brought him design inspirations, Hofman replied, “They gave me general impressions. If I want to design, I need to take home those pictures that I took these days and then recalled. Maybe it will give me inspirations. Creation is complicated.” He continued, “I love the pandas. They are so adorable. And the goldleaf in Jinsha Site Museum is magic. Its shape is so different that I’ve never seen it before. Besides, I am very interested in the model of the birds in the museum. They have three legs. I’ve never seen it. Amazing!”  

The “Rubber Duck” makes people relax

    When Holman came to Chengdu, the “Rubber Duck” was mentioned naturally. Holman himself was surprised at the popularity of the duck in the world. “It seems that people are crazy about it when they see it. I guess the reason why people love it is that they want to relax and have since the work pressure is so heavy. And exactly the duck bears the idea like this—we don’t need to rush to work. We should not put pressure on ourselves. We should relax and regain the innocence.”

    Holman also believed that the Rubber Duck changed the common landscape of the city. “There are not only towering buildings and streets, but also a lovely colorful duck as big as the building. You know, it is totally different from any building. The duck aroused people’s inquisitiveness and curiosity.” When it comes to the pleasure that the Rubber Duck brings to people, he said, “I think another function of the duck is to connect people. When people talk about this rubber toy is like talking about their favorite doll in the childhood. And this makes people become closer.”

    It is more than changing the little duck to a bid duck

    The Rubber Duck is popular, but recently an artistic critic indicated that this Rubber Duck just a bigger version of the little duck. “To enlarge the volume of the original object without limit is artistic creation, which has been practiced decades ago. His idea is not exclusive so it can be imitated easily. Since it is out of fashion and not so original, this work can hardly get the copyright protection.”

    In response to the query, Hofman replied yesterday that in the field of art, there was an original work, and there was also a better work produced based on the original. “For example, the different colors of the head portrait of Marilyn Monroe are produced on the original head portrait. So is the same with the Rubber Duck.” Hofman believed that the bigger version of the little duck is not exactly the whole of the work. The environment that the duck lives in is also part of the work. Therefore, to put the Rubber Duck in different place is to create a new work. “After all, the city is different, the river is different and the environment is different, so what the duck brings to the people becomes the key point of the work.”

    Without the Rubber Duck for now

    According to Holman, he likes toys since childhood. When he was a child, he would make clothes and toys for the dolls. And he also enjoyed changing the toy guns and wood to different things. He was curious about the world.

    When asked about his next move, for instance, whether to make the Rubber Duck more common though imprinting the logo on the T-shirt or making some relevant rubber toy…Hofman replied cautiously, “I have been doing some small things, like different rubber toys. Maybe in the future, there will be more products. But for now, I don’t know.” As for whether he will hold an exhibition about the Rubber Duck, he said no, but it may be part of his plan. This afternoon, Hofman will hold a press conference in Chengdu. Besides, according to Chengdu Commercial Daily, tonight, Hofman will show up at the Landing Arts to communicate and interact with contemporary artists of Chengdu.