Masks Hold Images of Pandemic, Hong Kong Protests

In one of Edmond Kok’s creations, a 3D visualization 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 symbolizes people missing their favorite holiday destinations because of travel restrictions.Edmond Kok, a Hong Kong theater costume designer and actor, wears a rubber duck face mask in Hong Kong, Aug. 6, 2020.A Hong Kong actor and costume designer, Kok has had little theater 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.Kok’s creations also address fears in Hong Kong that China is taking away the greater freedoms that residents of the territory have compared to the mainland. Under a new national security law, people have been arrested for displaying or chanting slogans deemed as advocating independence from China.Edmond Kok, a Hong Kong theater costume designer and actor, wears a face mask modeled on a clown face and bow tie in Hong Kong, Aug. 6, 2020.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, a Hong Kong theater costume designer and actor, wears a face mask designed to look like fruits in Hong Kong Aug. 6, 2020. 


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