A mask for you and me
Masks aren’t mere essentials in this post-CB period, having taken on new meaning for some students who use them to show support, get creative, make a statement or help others
by Chrystal Chan / Photos by Ei Ei Thei
For recent NTU chemistry graduate Iman Izzati, masks are all about creative expression. “Even during the circuit breaker period, I was already researching online for pretty masks to wear. I knew wearing masks would be the new norm, so might as well get masks that look good!” she says.
The current NIE postgraduate student, who enjoys keeping up with the latest fashion trends and styles, has a similarly chic mask-drobe. She owns seven printed masks and three plain ones, and chooses which mask to wear each day after assembling her outfit. She usually tries to have her mask and clothes in a matching colour scheme.
“I bought a few brightly-coloured masks but haven’t worn them out yet as they are a little out of my comfort zone,” she admits.
“If I can’t decide which mask to wear, I’ll just go for the plain white ones as white is the most versatile.”
IT MASK BE LOVE
Pang Hao Cher spent $24 on his mask, but it is not too big a price to pay for a mask that does triple duty. “It is super comfortable, quite breathable and fits my (large) face well!” says the third-year communication student.
The mask’s unique black and white abstract pattern is the work of local designer Joanna Lim of eponymous clothing line JOANNA.
“Joanna is my sister’s close friend. Not only did we want to do our part to support local businesses during this time, we also heard first hand from my sister about how comfortable the jersey material of the mask is. We all bought one each,” says Hao Cher.
On days when he meets his girlfriend, however, he switches up the mood and puts on a cute pug-printed mask in the name of “couple masking” with his girlfriend, who has the exact same one.
HANDSEWN WITH LOVE
When Nicole Tan thinks of masks, she thinks of Singapore. During the circuit breaker period, Nicole and six others, including NTU fourth-year student Gabriel Tan from the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, decided to make masks out of donated fabric from local textile shops to meet the mask crunch.
They spent a week cutting and assembling the materials needed for 1,000 masks, and another two weeks working with volunteer sewers to put them together. The masks were then donated to the Lions Befrienders Senior Activity Centre as well as the NTU Rotaract Club, which in turn gave them out to the cleaning staff and bus drivers working in NTU.
“I may be biased, but the mask my team designed is my favourite mask to wear. I use it the most often because it is really comfortable, reusable and effective,” says the School of Biological Sciences fresh graduate.
The most heartwarming moment for the team was when a beneficiary expressed thanks for the much-needed mask supply. “It was great to know that our efforts actually made a difference to the elderly,” she adds.
MAKING A STATEMENT
To Adam Rosli, a mask can do more than just prevent the spread of viruses. For the third-year digital filmmaking student, his mask can also make a statement.
All three of his masks are black with white words on them. One says “non-essential”, a tongue-in-cheek reference to a controversial survey which found “artist” topping the list of jobs deemed least crucial in keeping Singapore going in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. His two other masks say “Silent on set” and “Crew”, both of which he uses while on film shoots.
“I like my masks because they can spark conversations. The ‘non-essential’ mask is also a way for me to make an ironic statement while the other two represent what I do,” says Adam.
What kind of mask do you prefer?
More than 3,000 students tell us on #NTUsg IG and HEY! Telegram
Saw Asst Prof Ross Williams explaining the concept of autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) on our #NTUsg IG Story? We took your questions for the School of Art, Design & Media sound expert (and NTU’s very own Christian Bale!), and added a few of our own by...
What’s causing such a stir at the culinaiRE kitchen on campus? The flavour of the month: Korean japchae by Chrystal Chan Korean japchae, anyone? By the looks of it, many NTU hall residents are saying “aye”. Three nights a week, the culinaiRE kitchen in Tanjong Hall is...
Before heading to Australia for a six-month exchange programme at Swinburne University, communication student Sergul Toh pings his senior, art student Muhammad Jafri Bin Jaafar, for some quick advice Sergul Jafri Sergul: Jaf, heard you just came back from exchange...
Students and staff band together to support the university community by Junn Loh Tristan Goh is on a mission to deliver meals to students on a leave of absence because of the novel coronavirus situation. He says he wants “to make a statement”, as he sees it....
Happy to escape the northern winter, Andrew Duffy wonders what would happen if it snowed in NTU DIGITAL ART: SEAN LEE It’s coming up to the time of year when exchange students from Sweden and Canada are as warm on the inside as they are on the outside. They’re...