If you’ve ever visited Japan in the midst of winter or spring, you’ve probably noticed a barrage of people sporting face masks in the trains and walking about the city. A popular way to battle the spread of germs in the winter and pesky pollen in the spring, surgical masks have been common in Japan since the early 20th century.
However what began as a seasonal safeguard has recently become a year-round custom. While you may see Hello Kitty and other themed masks for children, the choice for adults wanting to make a fashion statement is fairly stark.
Inspired by the literal wearable canvas, Canadian artist May Shi began creating beautiful hand-painted masks depicting everything from Van Gogh’s Starry Night to the ever-recognizable Poké Ball. Check out some of her unique and whimsical handiwork below!
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