Wearing face masks are the norm in many Asian countries, a means of protecting against pollution as well as germs in densely populated areas. In Asia, to wear a face mask is an everyday occurrence. However, racist prejudice and paranoia have become so extreme that Asian communities living in the West are at a loss in wearing face masks.
Kung Flu Face Masks is a series of handmade, ?Chinese silk? face masks, embroidered with the many terrible things said to Asians in the rise of the Covid-19 pandemic. This fabric is instantly recognizable as a general kind of Asian-ness, all-encompassing and non-specific to any certain race, just as the face of Asians all look the same to anyone who sees them only for their foreign-ness. Racist slurs have been pain-stakingly embroidered onto the hand-made masks, making them a labor of love wasted on those who see Asians as nothing but a disease. The face masks meant to protect us have become branded with the very words meant to tear us down.