Is Shanghai's Roast Duck Ferry Boat In Poor Taste?

Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman’s huge (and hugely popular) inflatable yellow rubber duck caused a sensation when it sailed into Hong Kong harbor last May and with Rubber Ducky Mania set to strike Beijing in September, Shanghai's feeling a little left out.

The answer is obvious: if you don't have a giant duck, go get one! That would be too easy, of course, and Shanghai would love nothing better than to one-up their rivals... and now they have, kind of.

The Shanghai Duck (also known as “Ferry Love” or “Duck Prophet”) is a Huangpu River ferry boat cosmetically modified to resemble the world-famous roasted delicacy commonly associated with China's capital city. We're talking Peking Duck, folks, and one might say this is Shanghai's way of telling Beijingers their goose is cooked. 

Not so fast, caution Shanghai boosters, there's a method to our madness. “The local duck is a tribute and an interpretation of the Dutch version of the yellow duck,” explained Han Beishi, the artist and chief designer behind the broiled bird. Han went on to state that “the roasted body is a metaphor for this summer's scorching weather that should remind people on the need to protect the environment.” Yeah, that's the ticket... but will anyone buy it?

Some might not have much choice, as the Shanghai Duck is a working ferry boat that loads passengers from Jinling Road Duck, er, Dock. Even if the thought of traveling within a deceased duck is somehow off-putting, take heart in that the decorated waterfowl will only be in service 'til the end of September 2013. (via Sina English)