Cherish life in a big way

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Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman's Rubber Duck – an inflatable version of the childhood rubber duckie bath toy – came to Beijing once more, joined by a "zoo" of his signature larger than life animals.

The show at Today Art Museum, aptly titled Celebrate! to remind people of the need to find joy in the little things in life, boasts 20-plus installations that cover more than nine sections across three floors. The appeal lies in their sheer size, and sometimes in the choice of materials used.

The star of the show this time, of course, is the Birthday Tiger. Hofman is known to expend his imagination in understanding local cultures and this installation is an endearing tribute to the Year of the Tiger on the Chinese calendar. The giant cub is made of more than 1 million party balloons. It took a team of over 20 workers five days to finish the installation. The baby tiger, lying on its back in a playful feline pose, occupies a large part of the museum's second floor.

"The show is meant to remind people that we need to celebrate life, come together, interact with each other and be blissfully happy," says curator Anouchka van Driel, explaining that Hofman's seminal artwork aims to inspire joy and help people cope with the "new normal" triggered by COVID-19 curbs.

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