posted by Studio Phil Akashi on Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Phil Akashi paid tribute to international hero Nelson Mandela in Shanghai in 2013. The artist attached a seal embedded with the Chinese characters ”自由” (meaning “freedom”) to a boxing glove, and imprinted a monumental portrait into a mural with 27,000 punches.
Phil Akashi used a boxing glove to add significance and power to his artwork. The artist also chose to use Cinnabar paste for his significance in Taoist culture; red Cinnabar was regarded as the color of life and eternity. But he firmly decided to use black cinnabar paste to honor Mandela’s struggle against apartheid. This symbolic and powerful new painting resides in the Shanghai Graffiti Park, and is surrounded by a mix of graffiti made by local street artists.
“This artwork exemplifies Nelson Mandela’s 27 years of incarceration but also symbolizes his lifelong brave stand for freedom and equality. Nelson Mandela is an extraordinary artist of peace. He sacrificed his own freedom to fight for the freedom of others. He was prepared to die for his ideal of democracy, harmony and freedom and therefore he represents a fantastic source of inspiration for the entire world.” Phil Akashi
In China, you can watch the video on Youku here.
27.000 boxing punches with the Chinese characters 自由/“Freedom" exemplifies Nelson Mandela’s 27 years of incarceration and his lifelong brave stand for freedom and equality.
In his autobiography "A long walk to freedom", Nelson Mandela mentioned his passion for boxing: "I enjoyed boxing for the science and for the strategy not for the violence. Boxing is egalitarian. On the ring, rank, age, color, wealth are irrelevant." Nelson Mandela
This artwork has received international attention. Please find a selection of articles, TV and radio interviews here. Download all the photos of the artwork in high resolution here. (Feel free to use them with @philakashi credits).
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