Other than lockdown and quarantine if there is something we have herd more than our own names in these recent times, it is the face mask. Talking of which, Beijing-based artist and designer Zhijun Wang has created face masks out of Ikea’s iconic FRAKTA shopping bags.
Ever since the world has been dealing with the killer pandemic, many designers have latched on to the opportunity to create face masks to help people minimize the spread of COVID-19. But for Wang, this is not a new business.
The new fashion accessory
The designer together with his partner Yutong Duan has been transforming everything from sneakers to shopping bags into mask since 2013. Wang, as informed, started making masks in 2013, when Beijing, city where he lives, was first engulfed in heavy smog owing to industrialization, and people were compelled to wear face masks as a new fashion accessory.
With Duan, Wang has been making masks that combine aesthetics and utility. The Ikea’s FRAKTA shopping bag face mask is one of them. Wang first made these masks in 2017 when the Swedish furniture giant’s tote bags became a fashion phenomenon.
Since Zhijun Wang made the Ikea shopping bag face masks, there have been designers creating alternative versions using various shopping bags. But Wang has been a face mask specialist – he has created over 200 sneaker masks amid masks from other materials.
Wang’s handcrafter sneaker masks are so famous that they have been collected by The Museum of Modern Art, Japanese contemporary artist Takashi Murakami, Argentine footballer Paulo Dybala. If you are fascinated by his creations, be sure to check out Wang’s YouTube tutorial (above) on how to make a face mask.