On October 14, 2014, I was overjoyed to learn that the giant rubber duck I had heard so much about had finally made its way to Seoul! My friends in the US and China had all boasted their best pics with the infamous duck via Instagram and Facebook in the past and now it was finally my turn. I could hardly contain my excitement and quickly made plans to go see it with my dog and boyfriend.
For those for you who are unfamiliar with the Rubber Duck, it is one of many sculptures designed by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman. According to Hofman, “the Rubber Duck knows no frontiers, it doesn’t discriminate people and doesn’t have a political connotation. The friendly, floating Rubber Duck has healing properties: it can relieve mondial tensions as well as define them. The rubber duck is soft, friendly and suitable for all ages!” So in 2007, he sent out his rubbery friends to bring joy to people of all ages all over the world. The project has been ongoing ever since! The ducks vary in size, but the one currently in Seoul is 16.5×19.8×16.5 metres or 54×65×54 feet! That’s one big ducky!
We decided to head over to 잠실 (Jamsil) to see it the first weekend of its arrival and boy was it packed! People were swarmed around the duck with their selfie-sticks trying to get the perfect shot in a sea of photo-bombers. People had to carry their pets to prevent them from getting trampled. There were even security guards and taped off areas to keep people from getting to close… or swimming up to the duck and riding him, the details are a bit fuzzy. Anyhow, it was crazy! Unfortunately we were unable to get any good family photos with the duck, but I did manage to get a few of the duck himself.
To be honest, I didn’t enjoy the experience as much as I would have liked. It was so loud and there was so much shoving and pushing it kind of put a damper on the outing. I really loved the duck itself though. It was funny how the duck made the lake look like a giant bathtub right in the center of the city! I went again during the week and while it was still a bit crowded, it was nowhere near as chaotic as it was on the weekend. It’s definitely worth seeing, though I would strongly advise doing so on a weekday to escape the crowds.
The Rubber Duck will be on display until November 14, 2014 at 석촌호수 (Seokchon Lake). There is also a small pop-up shop that sells official Rubber Duck merchandise like postcards, totes and buttons. So if your a Rubber Duck fan be sure to check it out! Until next time…