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Artistic impact: Nelson Mandela tribute in Shanghai

Artistic impact: Nelson Mandela tribute in Shanghai

Using 27,000 punches

Image: YouTube

A powerful piece of art has been created in China, carried out in the most symbolic way...

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'.

Nelson Mandela tribute in Shanghai

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.

Nelson Mandela tribute in Shanghai

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. 

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