Date
11 December 2017
The 21-meter-long HippopoThames provides a wacky, if incongruous, sight in London's historied Thames. Photo: AFP
The 21-meter-long HippopoThames provides a wacky, if incongruous, sight in London's historied Thames. Photo: AFP

Giant duck artist strikes again in London and Taiwan

There’s no stopping this artist.

After turning city harbors into bathtubs with his giant rubber duck, Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman has turned his wicked imagination to London’s River Thames.

This time around, he didn’t bring his yellow inflatable creation, which, the last time we heard, was clawed to death by an envious eagle in Taiwan before its resurrection in Los Angeles. Instead, he let a 21-meter-long hippo take a leisurely dip in the utterly busy waterway.

It’s colorful and super-sized as usual, and the mud-loving mammal with half of his barrel-shaped body immersed in the historied river seems a perfect choice for a wacky, if incongruous, sight.

The artwork was commissioned by the organizers of Totally Thames, an annual festival that celebrates London’s famous river.

Hofman tells CNN that while doing research on the history of the river, he learned that hippos did indeed inhabit its banks hundreds of thousands of years ago.

That’s why he thought of the animal as the subject of his artwork, which he christened, appropriately enough, “HippopoThames”.

“I wanted to use the hippo to get people out of their homes, away from the internet and the TV, and to explore London with a new perspective,” Hofman tells the news network.

Despite the formidable countenance of the beast that inspired the creation, “HippopoThames” has that innocent, cuddly appearance that reminds children and their parents of fun and games.

Hofman admits “HippopoThames” was inspired by a children’s book that his parents gave him for their grandchild.

While the giant hippo is enjoying London, another Hofman creation is lying on a grassy slope and luxuriating in the sun in Taiwan. 

It’s a 25.3-meter-tall white rabbit, a sculpture made of plastic and wood that’s propped up against an old aircraft hangar in Taoyuan county in northwestern Taiwan.

The work is part of an art exhibition to celebrate the coming Mid-Autumn Festival.

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CG

This 25.3-meter-tall White Rabbit in northwestern Taiwan is part of an art exhibition to celebrate the coming Mid-Autumn Festival. Photo: AFP


The six-storey tall Rubber Duck gets a rousing welcome in San Pedro, California. Photo: AFP


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