The Rubber Duck Project has Returned to Seoul, along with 1000 Selfie Sticks
Lurking in the monstrous shadow of Seoul’s, yet to be completed, 123 floor Lotte World Tower, is a rather unassuming creature.
Vivid yellow, rubbery, with a bright orange beak and cute little tail, its pure childhood fantasy. It’s 20 metres of giant rubber duck, brought to Seokchon Lake, to soothe the ruffled feathers of the masses. You see, according to Florentijn Hofman, its creator, the Rubber Duck knows no frontiers, it doesn’t discriminate people and doesn’t have a political connotation.”
Standing in front of its giant bulk, it’s obvious. The duck surveys the mass of visitors with placid black eyes fixed on a point impossible for mere humans to discern.
The duck, it seems, is meditating.
No matter. The crowd is oblivious to the duck’s serenity. Armed with cameras, smartphones, couple look and cutesy poses, they converge upon the scene en-masse, each more determined than the other to capture the selfie of the century.
I, on the other hand, stand on the sidelines unsure of whether the gargantuan rubber duck, or plethora of obnoxious selfie sticks is more photo-worthy.
It’s not that I haven’t seen the selfie stick before. In Gangnam, home of the ultra self-obsessed, the doenjang girls wield their new weapon of choice this way and that, seeking the perfect angle from which to take their next Instagram selfie, completely unaware of the normal people walking down the street trying not to get speared.
As if it wasn’t hard enough to navigate Seoul’s super congested streets as it is…?
The Rubber Duck Project
Created in 2007 by Dutch artist, Florentijn Hofman, the giant rubber duck aims to “spread joy around the world,” by recalling childhood memories. So far, the duck has floated in 22 different bodies of water in 15 different countries, including France, New Zealand, Vietnam and Azerbaijan.
Built of over 200 pieces of PVC, the rubber duck has experienced not just joy, but also great suffering in its short life. Deflated and re-inflated in both Hong Kong and Seoul, stabbed 42 times in Belgium, exploded in Taiwan and swept away during floods in China, it’s a wonder the duck is able to maintain its easy demeanour.
The Rubber Duck Project (or lover duck as it’s known to many Koreans – haha), is floating atop Seokchon Lake in Seoul until October 31st, 2022.