Rubber duck-stimulus hits Hong Kong

A conceptual art installation in Hong Kong has not only changed the city's skyline, it has changed the mood of its residents and inspired a flood of related products.

Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman designed his 54-foot tall rubber duck art installation to spread joy and act as a catalyst to connect people to public art.

In Hong Kong, where the duck toy has been docked since May 2, it has ignited a furor, attracting hundreds of thousands of people from the region and prompting businesses to launch a seemingly endless supply of duck-related products and food items, including duck face macaroons (pictured right).

Call it a rubber duck stimulus, if you will.

The duck's condition has been a frequent topic on Facebook and China's Twitter-like microblogging service Sina Weibo. Earlier this month, when the duck was taken down for repairs, saddened fans took to social media networks to speculate and commiserate about the toy's potential demise.

The duck was reinflated Tuesday at its spot outside the Harbour City mall, which commissioned the project, prompting an outpouring of support, reported the WSJ.

It isn't clear why locals have become so enamored and attached to the duck. The duck has made previous appearances in nine countries around the world. However, the reception it has received in Hong Kong has eclipsed them all, reported the WSJ.

Residents had asked Hofman to bring the duck to Hong Kong, saying the place was gloomy and needed a pickup, reported the WSJ. Prior to the duck's arrival, Hong Kong residents were enduring a particularly bleak month with thick haze, caused by pollution, enveloped the city's Victoria Harbor.

The duck leaves Hong Kong on June 9 and plans are in the works for a proper send off. Hofman's duck art installation will then head to the U.S., where its location has yet to be disclosed.

Photos and video Florentijn Hofman; Photo of macaroons from Harbour City

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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