A man jumps in front of the Rubber Duck in Beijing's Summer Palace, Oct. 15, 2013. (People’s Daily Online/Chen Lidan)
Parting usually is heartbroken but the Rubber Duck will end up with a joyful goodbye from Chinese admirers at the end of October.
Beijing Design Week (BJDW), the organizer of the duck project in Beijing, announced on Tuesday the launch of a parting program for the Rubber Duck, including an online photo collection, which invites Chinese visitors to capture interesting moments when they view the Rubber Duck and post them on Sina Weibo, a twitter-like service in China.
Kung fu star Jackie Chan has agreed to take the post of chairman for a Chinese duck fan club and is scheduled to turn up with the duck “papa” Florentijn Hofman in the parting ceremony next Thursday.
The Rubber Duck has won great attention and discussion in China since Hofman signed agreement with BJDW in late June. So far, there has been nearly half a million pieces of reports about the duck’s tour in Beijing.
The popularity of the duck could be illustrated by dramatic increase in visitors who flooded the Beijing Garden Expo Park and the Summer Palace, the duck’s homes in Beijing. People are fascinated with this giant yellow duck, although a considerable number of viewers had never heard of it before.
The numbers could tell how attractive the duck is. The number of visitor to Beijing Garden Expo Park exceeded 1 million during the duck’s stay, though the park is located in the suburb. Its second home Summer Palace certainly will remember the duck for quite some time because record-breaking 133,000 visitors jammed into the park on Oct. 3 during the National Day holiday. It also helps raise the amount of visitors by 55 percent on normal days.
The synergy of the yellow duck project and the Summer Palace which is a masterpiece of classical Chinese gardens and world cultural heritage indicates a successful collaboration between design and tourism, commented Li Linjie, vice director of the Summer Palace.
What this big toy received in Beijing not only applauses but also embarrassment. When it came to Beijing Garden Expo Park, a copycat appeared in another park in Beijing overnight, which dressed in a bright green waistcoat and was followed by seven green eggs. Deflation, together with a laughable installment error which gave the duck a drooping chicken-like beak stirred more discussion in the Chinese Internet world.
Another round of online wisecracks came when the deflated duck "took a bow" to visitors and beak poked into the water on its first day floating on Kunming Lake in the Summer Palace. Last week, it had to turn flat to avoid the destructive power of strong wind, which disappointed many visitors who planned a special trip to view the original duck.
"These incidents are in our expectation and people could take them easy because we've prepared responsive measures to make the situation under control," Sun Qun, vice director of BJDW Organizing Committee, told People’s Daily Online.
"As organizer, we don't turn away from public feedback and some online remarks are unexpected but really interesting. We welcome the interaction with duck viewers," added Sun.
The sale of the duck-themed goods is also inspiriting for the organizer. About 30,000 little rubber duck toys were sold out. Another 20,000 are on their way and BDJW estimated that the added toys will also be sold out soon. Revenues of the goods would be used for philanthropy.