Masks hold images of pandemic, Hong Kong protests

HONG KONG (AP) — In one of Edmond Kok’s creations, a 3D visualisation of a spiky coronavirus bursts out of a face mask. Another mask uses a plastic takeout container to remind people of the environmental cost of food deliveries.

A design inspired by a Thai temple symbolises people missing their favourite holiday destinations because of travel restrictions.

A Hong Kong actor and costume designer, Kok has had little theatre work during the pandemic but found creative opportunity in the now-ubiquitous face mask. He has crafted more than 170 masks inspired both by the pandemic and Hong Kong’s political problems.

They’re not worn as illness prevention but as pieces of art.

A mock gloved hand covers one mask, illustrating the struggle to express one’s voice freely. A security camera represents a fear of surveillance, and eyeballs, a fear of being watched or censored.

“I really want to document different things that happened in our lives,” he said.

After the pandemic ends, Kok hopes he and others will revisit their experiences through his masks. He has posted photos of them on Instagram and other social media platforms.

Edmond Kok wears a face mask made from a Chinese bamboo steamer. PHOTO: AP