The Chinese artist turns his iconic artworks into face masks.

Ai Weiwei has designed a series of face masks for COVID-19 relief efforts to donate to humanitarian and emergency cases around the pandemic.

The face coverings depict several motifs that are familiar to fans of Ai’s oeuvre, such as the sunflower seeds featured in his 2010 installation at Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall and the defiant middle finger that appeared in his 2004 “Study of Perspective” series.

Additional designs include a surveillance camera, handcuffs and creatures from ancient Chinese mythology, all of which have been silk-screened by hand onto non-surgical cloth masks in Ai’s Berlin studio.

The series of face coverings are on sale until June 27 on eBay’s giving platform, eBay for Charity. Prices range from $50 for a single mask to $300 for a thematic set of four, and $1,500 for an assortment of 20.

All proceeds will equally benefit Human Rights Watch, Refugees International and Doctors Without Borders, with Ai announcing that $506,000 have been raised at the time of this writing.

“Our small individual act becomes powerful when they are part of the social response. An individual wearing a mask makes a gesture; a society wearing masks combats a deadly virus. And a society that wears masks because of the choices of individuals, rather than because of the directive of authorities, can defy and withstand any force. No will is too small and no act too helpless,” the Chinese artist said of the initiative in a statement.

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The COVID-19 pandemic is a humanitarian crisis. It challenges our understanding of the 21st century and warns of dangers ahead. It requires each individual to act, both alone and collectively. It is not enough to reflect on the new conditions and while away the time without fully inhabiting this moment. Actualizing one’s inner need to participate gives life during COVID a new meaning. This is why I am always involved. I refuse to accept any part of life as a complete loss. Our small individual act becomes powerful when they are part of the social response. An individual wearing a mask makes a gesture; a society wearing masks combats a deadly virus. And a society that wears masks because of the choices of individuals, rather than because of the directive of authorities, can defy and withstand any force. No will is too small and no act too helpless. —Ai Weiwei Sales of Ai Weiwei MASK will benefit equally Human Rights Watch, Refugees International, and Médecins Sans Frontières. Producer: Ai Weiwei Studio @aiww Curator: Alexandra Munroe @alexandramunroe Advisor: Greg Hilty, Lisson Gallery @lisson_gallery To purchase and for more information, please visit https://www.ebay.com/aiweiweimask #aiweiweimask #oneformany

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In recent weeks, several members of the art community have designed face masks in a similar effort to raise funds for coronavirus humanitarian efforts.

Earlier this May, the Contemporary Art Society invited four British contemporary artists to customize face coverings, as part of the “CAS Rapid Response Fund” crowdfunding campaign.

Participating artists include visual artist David Shrigley, multidisciplinary artist Eddie Peake, Turner Prize-nominee Yinka Shonibare and Linder, who is best known for her photography, radical feminist photomontage and confrontational performance art.

People who donate £35 (around $43) to the CAS Rapid Response Fund will receive a face mask of their choice, while a set of all four will come with a donation of £120 (around $146).

Funds will partly be used to purchase artworks by British-based emerging artists and donate them to local museums and galleries, which are anticipated to reopen as early as July 4.

This article is published via AFP Relaxnews.

Staff Writer