Clothing the Pandemic:
A Virtual Exhibition of COVID-19 Face Masks from Around the World
December 2021 to December 2022
Organised by the International Committee ICOM for the Museums and Collections of Costume, Fashion and Textiles (ICOM Costume), Clothing the Pandemic: A Virtual Exhibition of COVID-19 Face Masks from Around the World is a virtual exhibition of face masks collected by numerous museum curators for their institutions to document the material culture of the pandemic during 2020-2021. Over 100 masks have been curated into six major themes: Art & Intervention; Politics & Protest; Solidarity & Communities; Body & Spirit; Innovation & Sustainability; and Fashion & Pop Culture. The public can experience masks in unexpected ways: as expressions of joy, heroism, activism, cultural pride, and as symbols of hope and unity.
Visitors can look forward to viewing six masks contributed by Singapore’s Asian Civilisations Museum, including a white silk organza and tulle mask by Paris-based Singaporean fashion designer Andrew Gn, an intricate goldfish mask by Singaporean Peranakan designer Raymond Wong, and an elaborate “Butterfly People” mask by Indian designer Rahul Mishra. Freely accessible to visitors around the world, this virtual exhibition documents key moments of contemporary history and captures the united global challenge against the virus. At its core, this virtual exhibition highlights the importance of museum collections as sources of inspiration that embrace current events and celebrate contemporary fashion and design.