Odds are, if you consider yourself a fan of massive outdoor art installations, you may have made a pilgrimage to see the work of Dutch artist Florentjin Hofman entitled ‘Rubber Duck’. The artist oversaw the creation of a series of towering rubber duck floating sculptures dating back to 2007. One of these sculptures currently ensconced in South Korea, however, looks to be given new life.
The retail giant Lotte made the announcement today to recycle their own Hofman giant rubber duck, with the intention to use it for consumer gifts and art projects. The duck, which clocks in at 65 feet in height and weighs in at seven tons, was recently on display last October at Seokchon Lake in the southwestern area of Seoul. This was due to the request made by the Lotte group to have the floating sculpture on display in conjunction with the opening of the Lotte World Tower and the Lotte World Mall. The exhibition got off to a dubious start, with the duck sculpture deflating on the very first day. It was soon restored to its full glory, and attracted over 5 million visitors in addition to being quite the hit on social media there. One other notable point raised by the presence of the duck was that the exhibit was a ploy to take attention away from concerns about the safety of the skyscraper mall. The duck has also had its fair share of detractors, who have felt that Hofman’s artistic intentions were more about profit than about breaking down barriers through art.
Lotte looks to extend the purpose of the rubber duck with the aforementioned initiatives next month. The first will be a project entitled “Come Swing With Rubber Duck X Fabrikr’, and it will be composed of 24 rocking chairs that will be constructed using materials from the floating structure. The exhibition space will also be designed to give visitors the sensation of riding the floating duck upon the waters, thanks to the ceiling and the floors of the installation space mimicking the effects of the wind and the waves. Shoppers at the mall will also get souvenirs made with rubber from the duck, but those will be offered up in a first-come, first-serve manner.