Heat Wave Inspires Roast Duck Ferry

Eugene Hoshiko/AP Photo

Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman's floating "Rubber Duck" arrived in Hong Kong in May with a big splash. It quickly became a beloved and instantly recognizable icon, and before long, armadas of copycat rubber waterfowl could be seen cruising the country's lakes, ponds and rivers.

In Shanghai, which has experienced a heat wave this summer, artist Han Beishi told Chinese media that it seemed only fitting to roast the Rubber Duck.

Chinese artists have turned a ferry on Shanghai's Huangpu River into a giant floating roast duck. The duck's body has been roasted to a crispy brown while the uncooked duck head retains its original yellow color.

The artists were hired by an advertising company called Bestknown. The company's spokesman told local media that the "roast duck ferry" is intended to turn the ferry into a public art space and allow ordinary citizens to get closer to works of art.

Chinese citizens expressed their bemusement on Sina Weibo, a popular microblogging site. Many made their feelings about the ferry's appearance clear with emoticons showing laughing or embarrassed faces.

"I feel ashamed," one Weibo user joked. "Such a strange thing can not represent Shanghai. Where are the scallions and sauce" that usually accompany Beijing roast duck?

"This is so ugly and cruel, a yellow duck head with brown body; the body is cooked, but the head is….Rest in peace," said Weibo user Zhang Qian.

So if you're in Shanghai during the next month or so that the artwork is on display, just fork over 2 RMB, or 32 cents, for the unique experience of viewing the city's imposing skyline aboard a floating roast duck.