Iconic artist and activist Ai Weiwei turns his art into face masks for charity

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Ai Weiwei (Photo: Getty images)
Ai Weiwei (Photo: Getty images)


  • Ai Weiwei has teamed up with Human Rights Watch to create masks that will be used to raise funds for charity.
  • The masks include artwork like a middle finger, sunflower seeds, and a mythical creature called a Feishu.
  • Those who wish to contribute can purchased one on eBay for R872.66 each - Ai is hoping to raise around $1 million (approximately R17.4 million) from sales.


Human Rights Watch has partnered up with Chinese artist Ai Weiwei in a project of mass activism that will help raise funds to support human rights and humanitarian relief projects during the coronavirus pandemic. 

"The project centers on the simple face mask, a ubiquitous form of protection during the pandemic but one that is banned in Hong Kong, where pro-democracy protesters used masks before Covid-19 to evade police teargas and facial-recognition technology," Human Rights Watch director, Kenneth Roth, explains. 

Ai's artwork, including "symbols of free speech, surveillance, persecution, mass obedience, and defiance," has been imprinted on face masks which are for sale on eBay. Proceeds raised from the masks will go toward charity. 

According to CNN, Ai is hoping to raise at least $1 million (around R17.4 million at current exchange rate) from the sale of the masks. 

Those who wish to purchase a mask will be able to choose between designs like a middle finger, sunflower seeds, or a mythical creature called a Feishu. 

The masks retail for R872.66 each, R5 235.97 for a set of four, and R26 179.84 for a set of 20. 

Compiled by Nikita Coetzee (Sources: Human Rights Watch, CNN)

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