(Hong Kong) Ten years after the success of its first visit, the giant yellow duck, a work by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman that has become a symbol of peace, returned to Hong Kong Bay on Friday, this time with its twin brother.
“In times of pandemics, political tensions, I think it’s a good time for luck to return”, as if “two ducks is twice as lucky”, said Florentijn Hofman in presenting his floating installation consisting of two inflatable ducks 18 meters high.
Named “Double Ducks”, she will be stationed for two weeks in the port, opposite the Central financial district, in the heart of Hong Kong Bay.
It will be “twice the fun, twice the happiness,” the 46-year-old artist said in a statement, noting that his work “emphasizes friendship and bonding.”
During his first visit to Hong Kong in 2013, when he came solo, he caused a stir as far as Beijing, Internet users having at the time hijacked the famous photo of the “man in the tank” of Tiananmen Square in replacing tanks… with ducks.
The photo of this single man trying to stop a column of armored vehicles has become the symbol of the bloody repression of the pro-democracy demonstrations of June 4, 1989 in Beijing.
For more than 30 years, thousands of people have gathered each year in Victoria Park in central Hong Kong for a candlelight vigil in memory of the more than 1,000 peaceful protesters who were shot dead that day.
But since Beijing imposed a national security law on Hong Kong in 2020, authorities have shut down such gatherings. On June 3, the eve of the 34th anniversary of the Tiananmen events, Hong Kong police preemptively arrested several artists or performers in the bustling Causeway Bay district.
As this year’s anniversary approached, authorities repeatedly refused to confirm whether public commemoration of the event was illegal, saying only that “everyone should act according to the law”.