Big bunny sparks dreams at land arts festival in Taiwan

Moon Rabbit
Moon Rabbit

(CNN) — Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman seems to think the world has had enough of his giant inflatable rubber duck.

Following up on the recent launch of his supersized floating hippo in London’s River Thames, Hofman’s latest project — Moon Rabbit — is now on display in Taiwan.

The location is fitting. The artist’s giant inflatable rubber duck took Taiwan by storm — even conquering a real storm along the way — last year.

Hofman’s latest animal-themed installation is part of the Land Arts Festival, an annual outdoor arts and culture event held southwest of Taipei in the northern county of Taoyuan.

This year, the event is taking place at a former naval base and features artwork from international and local artists, including Li Zhen and Zhang Huan. Festival art dots the base’s old bunkers as well as a 3.6-kilometer (2.2-mile) airplane runway.

It’s the first time the public has been allowed to visit the usually restricted naval base, home of the secretive Black Cat squadron from 1961 to 1974.

Bunny on the bunker

Moon Bunny under the moon
Moon Bunny under the moon

Hofman’s enormous yet adorable Moon Rabbit lies on a grass roof bunker, gazing at the moon.

“It’s made from tyvek mostly — a waterproof paper-like material,” says Hsin-yi Hu, exhibition manager at Blue Dragon Art Company.

The Taiwan-based company was responsible for bringing Hofman’s new work to the festival.

“Hofman hoped to recreate the fluffiness of a real rabbit and we used over 12,000 pieces of tyvek on the piece,” says Hu.

“The naval base is very windy. With the fur swinging in the wind, it actually makes the rabbit look more alive.”

The Moon Rabbit was inspired by Chinese folklore associated with the Mid-Autumn Festival, which took place earlier this week. According to legend, the rabbit lives on the moon and is the companion of the moon goddess Chang’er.

It’s the second year Taoyuan has hosted the Land Arts Festival.

Commonly known to international travelers as the home of Taipei’s international airport, Taoyuan will be promoted and recognized as a special municipality by the government by the end of the year.

“Taoyuan has been an important industrial city in Taiwan,” says Hu.

“But under the new status, it has been keen to strengthen its arts and culture scene as well.”

In addition to art installations, the festival features creative markets, workshops and performing arts.

Taoyuan Land Arts Festival, September 4 to 14, 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Taoyuan Naval Base

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