If you wear glasses, the COVID-19 and the ensuing new normal of wearing masks must have brought with it a problem particular only to wearers of glasses.
Japanese artist Takahiro Shibata’s glasses were fogging up because of his face mask – a problem that has become familiar to many spectacles wearers during the coronavirus pandemic.
But Shibata decided to turn the annoying side effect into a one-of-a-kind piece of art. The more his glasses fog up, the hotter and steamier the noodle soup on his “ramen mask” appears to be.
Shibata, an animator and artist, initially set out to solve the problem bugging many a spectacles wearer who dons a mask to protect themselves from COVID-19.
But once he discovered that was impossible, he decided to have some fun instead.
The 3D ramen mask, made from felt and clay, has everything you’d want in a real bowl of the noodle soup. Shibata’s nose disappears into chashu braised pork, green onions, bamboo shoots, and a slice of fish cake.
Shibata, who said he wanted “to cheer people up a little bit”, has no plans to sell the mask along with his other artwork. Although he may not be wearing it much either.
“The ‘bowl’ is filled with cotton and it weighs almost as heavy as a stuffed toy,” he said. “So it doesn’t feel comfortable when I put it on.”
This is nit the first mask innovation that Japan has come up with. In June, a pair of Japanese firms came up with a fabric that can produce small amounts of electricity powered by movement, allowing clothing to zap microbes and bacteria as you go about your day.
The firms touted the wonder fabric had the ability to do everything from curbing body odour to offering the ideal material for protective gear like face masks.
The fabric jointly developed by electronics company Murata Manufacturing and Teijin Frontier, dubbed PIECLEX, generates power from the expansion and contraction of the material itself, including when worn by someone moving around.
(With inputs from Reuters)