It’s been a while since we’ve followed-up on creative genius Florentijn Hofman and his giant inflatable yellow rubber duck installment, which has already, somehow, managed to not only make itself a subject of controversy but also widen the rift of discontent between Hong Kong residents and mainlanders. Now it appears that some further developments of agitation have ensued. Yesterday the duck made its debut in Keelung, Taiwan and, apparently, a very sullen Florentijn Hofman refused to show up to the exhibition which he called a ‘commercial circus’.
On Friday, Hofman canceled his trip to inaugurate the duck being displayed in Keelung because he was disappointed in the way it was being portrayed in Taiwan. Hofman wrote in a letter that he was upset about the arrangement for his installation and criticized organizers for turning it into a “commercial circus”, Taiwan Times reports.
“The rubber duck must show a place in a different perspective as it is, pure and simple, but now we learn it is turning into a commercial circus which we don’t approve of and of course dislike,” Hofman’s team was quoted as saying in a response to the Chinese-language United Evening News’ request for his opinion on the Keelung exhibition.
The emergence of unauthorized rubber duck-themed merchandise has also upset the artist, local media reported.
Hofman, whose ridiculous claims that the reproduction of rubber ducks in the likeness of his installment (i.e.: all rubber ducks that ever existed) are an infringement upon his intellectual property rights, is also unsettled by the city’s distribution of rubber duck-themed transportation cards allocated among the public.
The company, Taiwan Smart Card Corp, had to hold a press conference on Friday evening and calmly explain that they had indeed acquired permission from the organizers to use the duck’s ‘image’ in compliance with his daft requests.
Hofman’s team said they are investigating whether the organizers of the display in Keelung have violated the terms of their contract, adding that they will keep an eye on further developments regarding the duck’s display in the port city.
The duck that launched a thousand ships.