Hofman unhappy at 'circus' around giant duck display in Taiwan: report
December 22, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
TAIPEI -- Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman was upset about the arrangement for his rubber duck installation on display in Keelung and criticized the organizers for turning it into a “commercial circus,” a local newspaper reported yesterday.
A day earlier, the artist canceled his trip to inaugurate the duck display in the Northern Taiwan city, expressing disappointment over how the world-famous sculpture is being portrayed in Taiwan.
“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 and of course dislike,” Hofman's team wrote in response to the United Evening News' request for his opinion on the Keelung exhibition.
Besides the unruly vendors seen around the rubber duck, the emergence of unauthorized rubber duck-themed merchandise has also upset the artist, the newspaper said.
Among the products with copyright infringement are rubber duck-themed stored value cards used for transportation or other payments, issued by the Taiwan Smart Card Corporation.
The company held a press conference Friday evening and explained that it has acquired permission from the organizers to use the duck's image. It promised to correct any mistakes that could have resulted in a misunderstanding.
Earlier this month, Hofman also rejected the organizers' proposal to make the rubber duck rotate 360 degrees, as it contravenes his idea of simplicity and tranquility.
Still, in the letter, the team said Hofman and his family liked Taiwan and enjoyed the previous legs of the duck campaign in the Taiwanese cities of Kaohsiung and Taoyuan.
Hofman's team said they are investigating if the organizers of the Keelung display have violated the terms of their contract, adding that they will keep an eye on further development of the duck's display in Keelung.
About 8,000 spectators flocked to Keelung for a peek at the duck on the exhibition's opening day yesterday. The Keelung government estimates the inflatable duck will attract over 6 million visitors during its 50-day display.