Have you heard of the Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman? Or maybe you have heard about his giant rubber duck that lately floated in the harbor of Hong Kong. This famous duck is now coming to Beijing and will float in the Imperial Summer Palace. If you travel in Beijing you should not miss the opportunity to visit the giant rubber duck and the beautiful Summer Palace. You are outside Beijing? No problem! Just take a flight to Beijing and pay the duck a visit!

There has been a great hype among the Giant rubber duck when it floated in Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong from 2 May until 9 June. The duck attracted around 8,000,000 people to the area. As a consequence counterfeit ducks have been sold on Taobao, China’s largest shopping website, which lead to a nationwide appearance of inflated ducks.

Copying in design is a hot topic at the moment in Beijing. Therefore the organizers of Beijing Design Week planed to emphasize problems with copyright in China by exhibiting an original version of the giant Rubber Duck. This case should raise the awareness and sensibility towards intellectual property rights around China.

For some time now it had been decided that the original giant Rubber Duck will come to China. The Dutch conceptual artist Florentijn Hofman had signed an agreement with Beijing Design Week in June to bring an “original” duck to Beijing. Florentijn Hofman has been created super-sized bathtub companions since 2007. His duck has appeared in a lot of cities since that time as such as Sydney, Amsterdam and Sao Paulo.

The yellow Rubber Duck is soft, friendly and suitable for all ages. According to Florentijn Hofman rubber toys should not been politicized. “The Rubber Duck knows no frontiers, it doesn’t discriminate [against] people and doesn’t have a political connotation,” he writes on his website.

Ever since it was announced that the famous Rubber Duck was coming to Beijing, the question has been: where will it be placed? There where various possibilities such as Houhai, the National Center for the Performing Arts and so on. First it was planned to put the duck somewhere within the 3rd Ring Road. But later it was announced that the duck will probably float outside the 3rd Ring Road in order to not hinder the traffic as a huge amount of visitors are expected. It was unsure for a long time now and Florentijn Hofman himself went to see all the possible places.

Now it finally had been decided! Florentijn Hofman’s giant Rubber Duck will float on Kunming Lake, which is part of the former imperial Summer Palace. It will appear in Beijing from September 16 until October 2013 on the occasion of the Beijing Design Week 2013. Until now it is still unclear how large the duck will be. There are rumors that the duck will be taller than the one showed in Hong Kong which was 16.5 meters tall. Both the committee of Beijing Design Week and the designer Hofman are said to have decided to increase the height of the giant yellow duck.

No matter how tall the duck will be when being presented on September 16, it is definitely worth seeing it! So travel to Beijing and get excited! Spend a relaxing day at the Summer Palace and make pictures with the giant Rubber Duck.

Jack Li

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