Artistic impact: Nelson Mandela tribute in Shanghai
Using 27,000 punches
Artist Phil Akashi has paid an astounding tribute to Nelson Mandela, by painting a monumental portrait made from over 27,000 boxing punches. Not only is the number of punches symbolic, but each hit uses the Chinese characters '自由', meaning 'freedom'.
The Shanghai-based artist chose to use cinnabar paste for its significance in Taoist culture, although red cinnabar is regarded as the colour of life and eternity – Akashi opted for black to honour Mandela's struggle against the apartheid. "This exemplifies Nelson Mandela's 27 years of incarceration but also his lifelong brave stand for equality. He is an extraordinary artist of peace", he said.
Watch the video below for yourself to see the powerfully symbolic work of art in the Shanghai Graffiti Park, surrounded by a mix of street art by other local creatives.