“Needs to freshen up, stay tuned for its return,” read the news release. The duck was simply undergoing maintenance, organizers proclaimed. But Mirinna Chan, a 45-year old clerk, told Agence France-Presse: “The sky looks like it is crying for me — I took time off from work just to see the duck, now it is just a blob.” CNN likened it to “an unappetizing fried egg.” A local tour company began to offer a duck tour (US$25 per person) which includes a mini duck souvenir and is a full-day affair for up to 40. Besides visiting the ailing duck they will also tour duck farms, a famous garden, and an all-you-can-eat hotpot lunch. The Asian Sentinel got to flex its civic calling after the wait by duck disciples was over: "A duck craze has taken over, the latest of many to inundate Hong Kong. But it is different. It is gratuitously nice, and fun, for no discernible reason, a near miracle in this city."
The duck is here as part of an outdoor display of inflatables, sprawled over 17 hectares of Hong Kong waterfront at Hung Hom. “Mobile M+: Inflation!” is the second in a nomadic series curated by M+, whose mission it is to explore means of attracting community through projects not possible within a traditional gallery setting. It is running concurrently with Art Basel Hong Kong. The artists are eight:
| Cao Fei - China | Visitors approach a stupendous whole roasted pig, and through a cut on its side enters a doorway into its innards. And by entering sacrifice themselves to the pig and symbolically tansmute into the other white meat. Lit after dusk.
| Choi Jeong Hwa - South Korea | Giant lily petals waft in the breeze, evoking the Buddhist breath of spirituality and impermanence. Damaged in a downpour and mended.
| Jeremy Deller - U.K. | “ A momument to the world” is how the artist describes this blow-up Stonehenge at actual size and laid correctly on an inflated floor.
| Florentijn Hofman - The Netherlands | The artist claims it “…has healing properties: it can relieve mondial tensions as well as define them. It is soft, friendly, and suitable for all ages with no frontiers, discrimination, or political connotation.”
| Jiakun Architects - China | Floating spheres hover and hold up a long swath of black netting, to cast a swaying and moving shadow resembling a path. First shown in 2002 on the occasion of a private gathering in Changdu.
| Paul McCarthy - U.S. | A 51-foot high excrement is another provocative piece by the artist, deterring all but the soundest-of-mind to come close. Repaired after a sudden downpour, when it “washed” away.
| Tomas Saraceno - Argentina | An immense balloon, deflated, stirs at dawn when solar panels kick in; then becomes breathable. Best time is when the membrane meets the dawning sun. Inspired by the work of architect Dominic Michaelis.
| Tam Wai Ping - Hong Kong | Local fauna are half buried "in a conjugal composition," but the artist sees this as “… ills that plague contemporary society.”