Two-way masks

By: Louk Vreeswijk

Dec 07 2014

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Category: Asia, Japan

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Aperture:f/4.8
Focal Length:65.7mm
Shutter:1/0 sec

And what does the girl with the camera see up there? The answer to that has to wait till next week’s post. Here I’m interested in the girl with the mask, sitting in this spotlessly clean environment.
I always thought that these worker’s masks were meant to protect oneself against fine dust and other unhealthy particles that can pollute the air we breathe in. Only later I learned that they’re also used to protect others against the germs that we ourselves emit in case of even the slightest indisposition. In cities in East-Asia you see them often, these masks.

Does the masked person want to convey the message “Stay away from me, I have a contagious disease” or “Stay away from me, I am afraid of the danger of infection” ? This ambiguity is confusing. You may say “Why bother?”, either way you’re advised or requested to stay out of the way.

True; ambiguity often is the fun part of life. What to think for example about the muzzle of this lady?

Sento Palace park, Kyoto, Japan 2008

Sento Palace park, Kyoto, Japan 2008

And what to think about the lady below?

Kyoto, Japan 2008

Kyoto, Japan 2008

Photo of the week: Blue Planet Sky by James Turrell 2004 – 21st century Museum of Modern Art, Kanazawa, Japan 2008

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