Kaws’ Sculpture Appears in the Waters of Hong Kong

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Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbor recently has not only been a busy channel with ferries and boats going through, but it has also been harboring a ginormous inflatable sculpture. American artist, KAWS (Brian Donnelly) created the sculpture of his famous character, Companion, as a part of the Art Basel Hong Kong fair. Donnelly said before the launch of the sculpture, “I wanted to create a work that was really about just relaxing — taking time for yourself and just laying down and looking up.”

 

 

The sculpture is 37 meters long, which is 121 feet, and it weighs more than 40 tons. Most of this weight is because of the steel pontoon it’s affixed to. The pontoon Companion is on is diamond shaped to help it float better in the water. Donnelly commented on the project in the shipyards in Tsing Yi where the finishing touches and a series of inflation tests took place. He stated, “At first glance, it seems like a very simple project. But just with the choppiness of Hong Kong’s water … it had to be produced in a way that would sort of exist in the water, and not just be thrown about, or take off.” The floating installation was made with the help of a long-time collaborator AllRightsReserved. This studio helped another artist, Florentijin Hofman, make his rubber duck sculpture go viral. The creative director and curator, Shu-kam Lam said that Donnelly’s sculpture was more challenging because of the complex shape of Companion. After finally making the pontoon, they had to figure out how to transport it from the shipyard to Victoria Harbor. “(We had to make) all these different kind of arrangements because the artwork cannot (simply) float to location, you need two tugboats to pull it from Tsing Yi to Central,” Lam said. The entire transporting process took around eight hours.

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