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四年前的初夏,一隻黃色橡皮鴨飄洋過海,遠征香港,令維多利亞港忽爾間變成龐大的浴缸,逗得不少港人及遊客會心微笑。荷蘭藝術家Florentijn Hofman所建構的世界,總是保留着一份童心未泯的情懷。他醉心於大型裝置藝術,擅長利用視角及空間的改變去穿越時間,讓人重新審視自己與地方的關係。看過Florentijn Hofman的作品,便不難領略到真正的藝術從來不在他方,而就在我們身處的社區一隅。只要我們轉個角度,凝視周遭的環境,必定會找到生活中埋藏的小驚喜。

看似平坦 卻不平凡
Florentijn Hofman雖不是創作橡皮鴨的人,但由於他的裝置藝術深入民心,故獲得「黃色巨鴨之父」的稱號。出生於1977年的他,6歲時便立志要做藝術家,長大後在柏林取得藝術碩士學位,兌現了兒時的夢想。他的巨型藝術品的主人公一般都是動物,然而他主要的創作靈感其實絕非源自動物,而是跳蚤市場的小玩兒和二手陶瓷公仔。他在荷蘭南部Vlaardingen發表了第一個作品——一隻10.5米高的巨型兔子雕塑。及後,他陸續創作出多個帶來視覺衝擊的藝術品,其中以黃色橡皮鴨最為人知曉,曾在香港、日本、澳洲、巴西、法國等地展出。

重塑空間
Florentijn Hofman對巨型裝置的熱誠,始於大學時期。當世人以為他想要放大事物之際,他卻對自己的作品有與別不同的詮釋:「你知道為何尺寸如此重要嗎?因為大型藝術能讓身處其中的人都變得一樣,而且也變小了。我並不是把物件變大,而是把世界變小。」他的裝置藝術不僅能增添生氣,更為該空間賦予一層新的意義。

若說他的裝置藝術有如魔法般,其實絕不為過。在香港這個繁忙的都市,誰願意放慢腳步,觀賞維多利亞港的日與夜?但自從黃色橡皮鴨訪港後,許多人慕名前來拍照,平時了無生氣的海港猛然變成一個巨型浴缸,與周邊的高樓大廈相映成趣。縱然展覽期只得一個多月,這個樓高6層的巨鴨在香港人心中烙下深刻的印記,使我們重新感受到維多利亞港的魅力。數個月前,在深圳的壹海城臨海公園內,有Florentijn Hofman與上海的UAP團隊共同打造的裝置藝術,是一隻名叫「Kraken」的挪威海怪。它擁有8隻圓圓的觸腳,以3 種顏色的繩索交織而成。和其他作品不同的是,這隻巨型章魚既可遠觀,亦可褻玩焉,它在每個觸角前端都有著一扇小門,讓人可走進內部嬉戲。Kraken不但是一個展品,更與前來觀賞的人互動起來。另外,Florentijn Hofman近日亦跟香港創意單位AllRightsReserved合作,設計大型的戶外大象裝置藝術「Bubblecoat Elephant」,以慶祝中國深圳萬象天地的開幕。大象可愛地趴在商場上蓋,其象鼻會定時噴水,帶來歡愉的氣氛。而商場推出了「SPREAD the HOPE」公益籌款計劃,希望配合這個裝置藝術推出「抱抱象」玩偶,所得收入將捐贈奧比斯中國,幫助患有眼疾的兒童重見光明。這個作品的威力實在不容小覷,因為每當我們看到這隻大象,便會觸物生情,記起要傳遞愛和希望的訊息。

藝術 無遠弗屆
「無論你是一個銀行家抑或水電工人,你都能以同樣的方式看待藝術品。」對Florentijn Hofman來說,人們不需要甚麼文化背景,都可以欣賞及理解藝術。他所提倡的理念,就是藝術無處不在,可以超越種族、地位、年齡、政治等因素。如果想認識藝術,並不一定要花錢買票進入博物館。一條河、一片海、一塊草地,均是欣賞藝術的絕佳場所。在裝置藝術面前,我們每個人都是平等而渺小的。以橡皮鴨為例,它是大人和小孩的共同語言,因此人們在觀賞巨鴨時,就能夠不分你我,拉近彼此間的距離。

失去的意義
寥寥數十天的展覽就似曇花一現,讓人捨不得藝術品曾經帶給他們的美好時光。然而,這其實是Florentijn Hofmanh心底裏盼望的事。「當這些藝術品拆掉後,人們會開始掛念它們。有人掛念我的作品,是意外的收獲。」但願縈繞於心的思念之情,能提醒人們繼續用新角度去觀察身邊的事物,思考與環境的關係。

撰文:王以珞
美術:王曉澄

In an early summer four years ago, a gigantic Rubber Duck swam all the way to Hong Kong, transforming Victoria Harbour to a vast bathtub that made both local people and tourist chuckle. The world constructed by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman are always imbued with a sense of childhood innocence. With a deep fascination for installation art, he is good at creating art pieces that change people’s perspectives, hence inspiring them to reconsider their relationships with different places. After appreciating the art work of Florentijn Hofman, we would realize that real art exists in every corner of our community. We will definitely discover the little surprise in our lives as we perceive things in different ways.

Uneventful, yet unique
Although Florentijn Hofman is not the creator of Rubber Duck, he is dubbed the “father of Rubber Duck” because of his mind-blowing art work. Born in 1977, he was determined to be an artist at the age of 6. His beautiful dream came true as he received a master’s degree in arts when he grew up. While many of Florentijn Hofman’s installations are scaled-up animals, he explained that most of his work was inspired by objects found at flea markets and ceramics from second hand shops. His first work, a 10.5 meter high bunny sculpture, was first debuted in Vlaardingen, Netherlands. Among all his art work, the yellow Rubber Duck is his main claim to fame, which has been exhibited in a number of countries, including Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, Brazil and France.

Reshaping the space
Florentijn Hofman’s passion for installation art started when he was a university student. From his art work, we all assume that he is trying to make things bigger. But he personally does not agree with this assumption. “You know why size matters? Because it makes us all the same; it makes us all small,” he said. “I always say I’m not making a big object, but I’m making the world smaller.” His installations do not only enliven the atmosphere, but also give new meaning to those places.

It is appropriate to say that Florentijn Hofman’s art pieces have got some magic. Just imagine, in a busy city like Hong Kong, who would want to slow down and marvel at the day and night of Victoria Harbour? But miracle happened when the Rubber Duck arrived Hong Kong. It intrigued a myriad of people to gather around Victoria Harbour and take photos. This 6-storey tall duck has become our memories of a lifetime, and has unveiled the charm of Victoria Harbour. Few months ago, Florentijn Hofman collaborated with the UAP studio in Shanghai to create “Kraken”, a fun playscape in a seaside park. “Kraken” had eight tentacles with built-in doors that allowed visitors to go up to its body, where there was a large playable area. It was not simply an art work for mere appreciation, but also a playground for all the visitors. During these days, Florentijn Hofman has worked with AllRightsReserved, a Hong Kong-based creative studio, to design “Bubblecoat Elephant” for the grand opening of Mixc World in Shenzhen. Hoisted onto the top of the mall, this elephant sprays water from time to time, adding joyfulness to the visitors. The mall is now presenting the “SPREAD the HOPE” project to raise fund for Orbis China by selling elephant toys that resemble the appearance of “Bubblecoat Elephant”.

Art is everywhere
“No matter if you’re a banker or a plumber, you can communicate with the object, with the work the same way.” To Florentijn Hofman, people do not need specific cultural knowledge to appreciate and understand art work. What he strives to advocate is the idea that art is everywhere, and it can overcome the differences in nationality, status, age and political status. We do not have to go to the museum to learn and appreciate art pieces. A river bank, a harbour and a grassland, anywhere in the vicinity can be the venue for art learning. We are all the same and small in front of the installations. Rubber Duck is one of the most common childhood memories shared among many of us. Therefore, on a fundamental level, we are no different from each other when it comes to appreciating this installation.

The meaning of loss
The exhibition lasts too short that people would be kind of missing the art work. Yet, this is what Florentijn Hofmanh wish to see. “It shows them when the sculptures are gone what their public spaces as it is and they kind of miss it. Having them miss the object is a great bonus of art”, he expressed. Hopefully, even though the installations are all gone, our nostalgia will remind us that we should use a new perspective to see things around us, as well as reconsidering the relationship with the environment.

Text: Elok Wong
Art: Agnes Wong

ISSUE #163

FINDING UTOPIA

 

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