Clothing the Pandemic

A Virtual Exhibition of COVID-19 Face Masks from Around the World

Mask by Ai Weiwei

A mask covering the mouth is evocative when used as a symbol of protest in support of free speech, and as a vehicle for political criticism. Ai Weiwei, an artist and activist, created a limited collection of masks with images of his art. Here, his middle finger is raised against authority, a symbolic gesture he has depicted and performed many times to increase awareness of humanitarian issues. The masks were sold on eBay for covid-19 relief raising funds and promoting support for charities engaged in human rights and humanitarian causes.

Ai Weiwei, China

May 2020

Designed in United Kingdom

Made in Berlin, Germany

Cotton and synthetic fabric (polypropylene non-woven fabric; High efficiency blown melt; polyester non-woven fabric); Hand-printed, silk-screen

The British Museum


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