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Chinese artist Ai Weiwei designs face masks for CoViD-19 relief

All funds raised from the sale of these masks will contribute to various humanitarian and emergency relief efforts surrounding the CoVid-19 pandemic.

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has designed an assortment of face masks for CoViD-19 relief. Each of these masks feature different motifs familiar to fans of Ai’s oeuvre, including the sunflower seeds featured in his 2010 installation at Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, as well as the defiant middle finger that appeared in his 2004 Study of Perspective series.

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has designed an assortment of face masks for CoViD-19 relief.

Other than elements drawn from his previous works, Ai has came up with additional designs, too, which include details such as a surveillance camera, handcuffs and even creatures from ancient Chinese mythology. All of these masks were silk-screened by hand onto non-surgical cloth masks in Ai’s Berlin studio, and are non-washable and intended as artworks rather than medical use.

“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.

All proceeds from the charity sale will equally benefit Human Rights Watch, Refugees International and Doctors Without Borders. Interested to join this cause? You may now shop for these masks from eBay’s giving platform, eBay for Charity, until 27 June. Prices range from US$50 (approx. HK$388) for a single mask to US$300 (approx. HK$2,326) for a thematic set of four, and US$1,500 (approx. HK$11,629) for an assortment of 20.

Ai is not alone in his efforts. Over the past few weeks, several members of the art community have also designed face masks to raise funds for coronavirus humanitarian aid. That includes Contemporary Art Society‘s CAS Rapid Response Fund crowdfunding campaign earlier in May, where four British contemporary artists were invited to customise face coverings in support of CoViD-19 relief, while funds will go towards supporting emerging artists in the UK.

The participating artists include 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.

Those who donate £35 (approx. HK$336) to the CAS Rapid Response Fund will receive a face mask of their choice, whereas a donation of £120 (HK$1,153) comes with a set of all four. These funds will be partly used to purchase artworks by British-based emerging artists, which will then be donated to local museums and galleries in the UK, all anticipated to reopen as early as 4 July.

This article was published via AFP Relaxnews.