采访时间：2013年7月 Interview Date: July, 2013
荷兰概念艺术家。曾在大尺幅画布上画了10年油画，后以荷兰鹿特丹为基地，开始从事在公共空间创作巨大造型物的艺术项目。大型艺术已经成为他的“签名”，“胖猴子”(The Fat Monkey 2010年在巴西圣保罗展出)、“大黄兔”(The Big Yellow Rabbit 2011年在瑞典厄勒布鲁展出)等等，最出名的是今年在香港和即将在北京展出的“大黄鸭”（Rubber Duck）,也因此，他被称为“大黄鸭之父”。
Florentijn Hofman is a Dutch conceptual artist. He made oil paintings on large canvases for 10 years. Thereafter, based in Rotterdam, Netherlands, he began to work on giant models in public spaces. Large art works such as “The Fat Monkey” (exhibited inSao Paulo, Brazil in 2010) and “The Big Yellow Rabbit”(exhibitedin Orebro, Sweden in 2011) have become his signature works, among which “Rubber Duck”, which was exhibited in Hong Kong and scheduled to be exhibited in Beijing, is the most famous. That’s why he is popularly known as the “Father of Rubber Duck.”
For Hofman, who is in his thirties, 2013 is an important year when he and his large creations finally gained recognition in the land of China. This was particularly so for “Rubber Duck”, whose conception was indelibly linked with China. It finally appeared in Victoria harbor in Hong Kong, 13 years after the design was conceived.
Prior to China, Rubber Duck had toured many countries, but for some, the work merely represented an oversized bathtub toy. Particularly in China, large inflatable devices are commonplace in public places. To celebrate retail store openings, for example, large inflatable pillarsare a common sight amid a rising sea of colorful balloons. These contraptions attract attention, but have doubtlessly little affiliation with art. Therefore, when Hofman arrived at the world’s largest stand-alone building – the Global Center in Chengdu, in July 2013, he generated both warm welcome and controversy.
高1米93的霍夫曼崇尚“不婚主义”，身为三个小孩的老爹，却依旧像个大男孩。他喜欢搜罗世界各地的玩具，喜欢将艺术与公共空间发生联系。于是他将这些玩具扩大无数倍，并以横七竖八的形式放置于公共空间，倒地的巨型兔（The Big Yellow Rabbit ）、过街的鼻涕虫（Slow Slugs）、拖鞋做的大猴子（The Fat Monkey），甚至在葡萄牙将弗朗西斯科·德阿尔梅达（Francisco De Almeida，约公元前1450至1510年，葡萄牙贵族、军人和首任印度总督）的雕像贴满了彩色的橡皮泥。
Hofman, who is 1.93-meter tall, advocates a “non-marriage doctrine. ” A father of three, he has the air of a big boy himself. He likes collecting toys from all over the world and connecting art with public spaces. This inspired him to create hugely magnified replicas of those toys, and displaying them unconventionally in public. His works include The Big Yellow Rabbit, which lay on its back in a town square, Slow Slugs which ascended steps towards a church, and The Fat Monkey, made from slippers. In Portugal, he even stuck colorful plasticine to the statue of Francisco de Almeida (1450 to 1510 BC, Portuguese nobleman, soldier and first Governor General of India).
By some studies, the Dutch populace is statistically the tallest in the world. This fact, combined with the abundance of open art spaces in Holland, may shed some light on the creative impulses of Hofman. By displaying familiar toys in unfamiliar sizes the artist arouses a sense of awe from mundane objects. “Perhaps artist is not a good word, but it represents a heart that discovers the world”, Hofman says.
Q: Why is the size of artworksvery important to you?
Hofman: A large artwork will draw people’s attention at first sight and make them walk around the work and take an overall look of it. Large-scale artworks make not only public space, but also the viewer smaller. I’m not making things big, but making the world smaller.
Q: In the process of city construction, more and more works of art get placed in public spaces, what do you think of their combination?
Hofman: Public art is booming in the Netherlands where artists’ exploration, development, and creation are supported by the government. For example, if building a house costs three to four million Euros, then 1% of the cost will be used for artistic creation. Sometimes I think the rich cultural environment in the Netherlands is overdeveloped, and some works are awful. But this 1% policy is good for the development of Chinese art, and in the initial stageof construction, ideas of artists, dancers, and musicians can be integrated into creation and planning.
Q: You are full of curiosity, in the short journeyin Chengdu, what you say the most is the word “why”. So “Mr. Why”, how do you like this city?
Hofman: When the car passed by Tianfu Avenue, I was impressed by those grand and fantastic buildings on both sides. I think this city develops so fast, when facing these buildings, we feel we are so small, and human-beings are so small. The “1% policy” I mentioned just now is not appropriatefor permanent art. Contemporary art is transient, and is full of changes and freshness. I hope that public space belongs to everyone and is an amusement parkfor grown-ups, in where they may discover cheerful things like children.
Q: You and your works have been to many countries and regions, and some of your works are even based on and created for those places; so, on which country do your works have the most influence?
Hofman: Different countries have different ways of working. In Brazil, people will keep you waiting for three days, while in Japan, people will urge you after waiting for one minute. Every day of my life is like living in a dream, and my job is to play with a lot of people, I am a big kid who is having fun. The country in which my works have the most influence on should be called the Internet, where my works are watched and displayed the most number of times. Many people see my works on the Internet and think they have understood them, but in fact, they have not. That’s why I keep travelling around the world to make people truly understand my works.
Q: In fact, many of your works are distinctive, but only the “Rubber Duck” is popular in China, and you are called “Daddy Duck.” Do you think the popularity of “Rubber Duck” is because of everyone understanding the love it conveys, or just out of a herd mentality?
Hofman: Both are factors, but I think it is more because of the work itself. When I sneak to the places where my works are displayed and hear people’s opinions, I hear many different voices, and Rubber Duck is one of my controversial works.
Q: Some people question that your work is just the re-amplification of “Little Rubber Duck” and they even think it is a tort. What do you think of this issue?
Hofman: As an artist, I must be frank and open. There are toys collected from all over the world in my studio. I was inspired by them so I amplify them and change their appearance and materials. This is a completely different art in which I emphasize volume of public space and use of local materials. I’m not the first “amplifying” artist, but I am the first artist to amplify Little Rubber Duck. The image of little ducks has existed for hundreds or even thousands of years. When I decided to make the “Rubber Duck”, I found hundreds of images of ducks until I found the one “Made in HK”.
In 1992, a cargo shiploaded with 29,000 bathtub toys, most of which were yellow rubber ducks, set out from China, planning to cross the Pacific to reach Port of Tacoma in Washington State, USA. On the way, the ship encountered a storm, and the containers fell into the sea and ruptured. After fifteen years of drifting with the currents, those rubber ducks finally reached the shores of the U.S. and the UK.
All rights reserved, contact Lenore to know more.