Japanese artist creates ramen face mask to complement fogged glasses

Tomoshige Akira and Akiko Okamoto, Reuters

Posted at Sep 24 2020 02:46 PM

Japanese designer Takahiro Shibata's glasses fog up as he wears a protective mask that looks like a steaming bowl of ramen noodle soup, following the coronavirus disease outbreak in Yokohama, Japan Sept. 23, 2020. Kim Kyung-Hoon, Reuters

Japanese designer Takahiro Shibata's adds the finishing touches to his protective mask, at his house in Yokohama, Japan Sept. 23, 2020. Kim Kyung-Hoon, Reuters

Japanese designer Takahiro Shibata's puts on his protective mask that looks like a steaming bowl of ramen noodle soup at his house in Yokohama, Japan Sept. 23, 2020. Kim Kyung-Hoon, Reuters

Japanese designer Takahiro Shibata's adds the finishing touches to his protective mask, at his house in Yokohama, Japan Sept. 23, 2020. Kim Kyung-Hoon, Reuters

SYDNEY - Japanese artist Takahiro Shibata's glasses are fogging up because of his face mask - a problem familiar to many spectacles wearers during the coronavirus pandemic.

But Shibata has turned the annoying side effect into a one-of-a-kind piece of art. The more his glasses fog up, the hotter and steamier the noodle soup on his "ramen mask" appears to be.

Shibata, an animator and artist, initially set out to solve the problem bugging many a spectacles wearer who dons a mask to protect themselves from COVID-19.

But once he discovered that was impossible, he decided to have some fun instead.

The 3D ramen mask, made from felt and clay, has everything you'd want in a real bowl of the noodle soup. Shibata's nose disappears into chashu braised pork, green onions, bamboo shoots, and a slice of fish cake.

Shibata, who said he wanted "to cheer people up a little bit", has no plans to sell the mask along with his other artwork. Although he may not be wearing it much either.

"The 'bowl' is filled with cotton and it weighs almost as heavy as a stuffed toy," he said. "So it doesn't feel comfortable when I put it on."