This year has had no shortage of weird ideas, wonderful inventions and bizarre conspiracy theories. But a creator in Japan is taking mask-wearing to a complete and frankly rather creepy, new level.
Shuhei Okawara’s face masks won’t protect you from the COVID-19 virus, but they will definitely ensure that other people stay far, far away from you. Taking the term literally, Okawara’s creations are hyper-realistic copies of real faces. Tap or click for DIY instructions on making cloth face masks.
Paying his models around $400 to use their likeness, he plans to sell his creepy printed creations for nearly $1,000 from his shop in Tokyo.
Be someone different
His inspiration for the masks? Okawara explained that they will make for a rather interesting accessory at dress-up parties but can also be used in theatrical stage performances.
“Mask shops in Venice probably do not buy or sell faces. But that is something that’s likely to happen in fantasy stories. I thought it would be fun to actually do that,” he told Reuters.
Okawara said that he received more than 100 applications from would-be face donators in October. Going through a careful selection process, he eventually settled on one female model and one male model.
As popularity for the hyper-realistic faces grows, he intends to add more variety to the selection. He is aware, however, that many people might not wear it as intended. “As is often the case with the customers of my shop, there are not so many people who buy (face masks) for specific purposes. Most see them as art pieces,” he concluded.
Several other companies around the world produce hyper-realistic masks, with some causing concern about safety. The technology for creating them has become so advanced that a recent study found only one in five people can tell that it’s fake in a split-second situation.
Some mask creators go so far as to add freckles, moles and facial hair. This has caused concern with safety and security experts, who argue that criminals might use it in the future to hide their identities.