Inflatable art in Hong Kong

Posted on May 8, 2013 by Toothpicker There have been 0 comments

rubber duck

The giant rubber duck in Kowloon


Hong Kong has suddenly been turned into a "playground" for inflatable art sculptures this month. The arrival of the giant rubber duck by Dutch artist, Florentijn Hofman has caused a huge stir in the city attracting tens of thousands flocked to see it ( including myself). I like the concept behind the project and its ability to bring smiles to people's faces, but I am surprised by all the buzz and hype, which I think is slightly over the top!


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Top right: Choi Jeong Hwa's Emptiness is Form. Form is Emptiness; Main & bottom left: Sacrilege by Jeremy Deller; Bottom right: Paul McCarthy's deflated Complex Pile


Over in the West Kowloon cultural district, the outdoor inflatable art sculptures at Mobile M+: Inflation! exhibition are not only overshadowed by the giant duck, but are doomed due to the continously rain and storm.

The 15.5 metre-tall Complex Pile, by acclaimed American artist Paul McCarthy is now deflated because it was damaged by the rain, whereas Tomás Saraceno's "Poetic Cosmos of the Breath" experimental performance only takes place under certain climatic conditions. And there was no sight of Liu Jaikun's "With the wind" when I was there, I wonder what had happened to it?


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Falling into the Mundane World by Tam Wai Ping


Okay, three absent but five intact... Luckily, I managed to avoid the heavy downpour and it only drizzled a little when I was there. I was especially excited to see "Sacrilege" by London-based/ Turner prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller. A bouncy-castle Stonehenge in Hong Kong might sound bizarre, but it is as 'healing' as the a giant rubber duck floating in Victoria Harbour... simply check out the people's faces on the bouncy castle!

Elsewhere, the pink pig/ "House of Treasures" by Chinese artist Cao Fei is immensely fun, whereas "Falling into the Mundane World" by Hong Kong artist Tam Wai Ping is dark and striking. I was also particularly intrigued by Korean artist Choi Jeong Hwa's giant black lotus: "Emptiness is Form. Form is Emptiness" ( I saw the smaller and gold version last year at the Hong Kong Art Fair). It was very interesting to see the movement of the petals in the wind, and you don't need to be a Buddhist to understand the symbolic meaning behind this work.

It is a shame that all the publicity is focused more on the duck ( apart from when the poo popped!) and not so much on these fascinating pieces, though the bad weather doesn't help either. I hope that the weather will get better soon and more people can visit this site before it ends.


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Main & bottom left: House of Treasures by Cao Fei; bottom right: poster of the exhibition


Mobile M+: Inflation! at West Kowloon cultural district is free and will remain open to public until 9th June. ( however, the park is currenly closed due to thunderstorm warning, so it's best to check the website for updates).


This post was posted in Hong Kong, Exhibitions, Travel, Art and was tagged with Hong Kong, art and design exhibitions, inflatable art