On the still water surrounding an old amphitheatre, Florentijn Hofman has set his latest work ‘Floating Fish’ amongst the picturesque landscape of Wuzhen’s est scenic district. Located two hours from Shanghai, this ancient town in China hosts Art Wuzhen for three months — an exhibition of international contemporary creatives who add their work to the context of the historic urban fabric. Hofman’s aquatic animal plays on the significance of fish in Chinese culture, which are said to bring happiness and wealth.

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Hofman’s work often relates to its environmental context and adapts local materials or products in their making. The 15 metre-long, 7 metre-high ‘Floating Fish’ is comprised of 12,000 kick boards in pink, orange, and yellow — the kind children use in swimming pools and typically, made in China. While the colourful foam flotation devices clearly resemble individual scales, the material also serves as a symbol for a Chinese legend about a fish, which followed the yellow river and turned into a dragon.

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