Ai Weiwei Designs Masks With a Message

By Sophie Haigney
Although the distribution is digital, it’s also a rare chance to see Mr. Ai’s work in person right now, said Alexandra Munroe, a curator at the Guggenheim who collaborated on the masks with Mr. Ai as an independent project. 
One mask depicts a middle finger, stuck defiantly upward, silk-screened in black ink on a blue background. Others feature sunflower seeds, a surveillance camera or creatures from ancient Chinese mythology. All these masks are works by the artist and dissident Ai Weiwei. The assortment of masks, made of nonsurgical cloth, will be sold on eBay for Charity, from Thursday until June 27, to raise funds for humanitarian and emergency relief efforts around the coronavirus pandemic. Mr. Ai said that the idea came to him late one night; he’s been working across time zones, with a team in Wuhan, on a documentary about Covid-19. “I wanted to do something,” he said in a phone interview on Wednesday. “I didn’t want to just be sitting there and waiting for the time to pass.” [More]