Derivative Ducks


On May 2, Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman debuted his latest work, a giant inflatable duck, in Hong Kong harbor. Tens of thousands of locals and tourists flocked to see the duck, which was afloat near the city’s famous Star Ferry. Within weeks copycat versions of the Hofman duck started appearing in mainland China, an apparently harmless act. But an article posted to the website of the Chinese Communist Party’s official People’s Daily newspaper on June 3 condemned the copycat ducks proliferating across the country as “kitsch” and a perversion of Hofman’s original message. In the following cartoon, posted by artist Gou Ben (勾犇) to Sina Weibo, the original duck wears an expression of shock as it is faced by goofy knock-offs claiming to be relatives. An obnoxious duck wearing a tacky purple ribbon shouts: “I’m the elder female cousin of your distant female cousin’s neighbor!”

Comments are closed.