While masks became a pandemic necessity, they are also a fashion statement to some.
Singapore’s Asian Civilisations Museum is proving that fashion and design can live through anything with a virtual exhibit of more than 100 stylish masks from around the world, festooned with everything from goldfish to butterflies.
“The exhibition is a way for museums to remain connected to their audiences locally and abroad. The face mask – which has become the iconic symbol of the pandemic – represents humanity’s resilience, community, and unity during this global tragedy,” the museum wrote in a news release.
According to the museum, the face accessory exhibition will provide the public an “unexpected” experience and bring them a sense of “joy, heroism, activism, cultural pride” and “hope and unity.”
The Clothing the Pandemic show, which runs till the end of the year, is curated into six themes: Art & Intervention; Politics & Protest; Solidarity & Communities; Body & Spirit; Innovation & Sustainability; and Fashion & Pop Culture.
It is organized by an international museum association and several museum curators who have brought together face masks collected since the start of the pandemic.
Other participating museums include the British Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Philippines’ Museo Kordilyera, and Senegal’s Theodore Monod African Art Museum.
From Singapore, Peranakan Chinese designer Raymond Wong is exhibiting his intricate goldfish mask embroidered by hand and made of silk and glass beads. The goldfish symbolizes abundance and good luck in Peranakan and Chinese culture.
The Butterfly People mask by Indian designer Rahul Mishra has butterflies attached to a floral mask to symbolize his relationship with his artisans and pay homage to them amid India’s severe unemployment.
Another highlight includes Paris-based Singaporean designer Andrew Gn’s piece showing off intricate hand embroidery in silk organza and tulle. It was specially designed for luxury magazine Prestige Singapore’s fundraising campaign that helps caregivers of mental health patients.