While people around the globe continue to celebrate the leader's achievements and vision, reports have informed that former South African president Nelson Mandela has been struggling to fight a recurring lung infection. He was admitted to hospital beginning last month for the condition. As the world celebrated Mandela's 95th birthday earlier this week, Shanghai-based artist Phil Akashi has created Tribute to Mandela, a mural depicting the South African revolutionary through imprints of the Chinese characters for freedom: "自由."
Akashi wore a boxing glove and threw 27,000 punches at a blank wall to create the portrait, which literally stands for freedom. In recognition of the hero's work to fight against apartheid, the color black was chosen to illustrate the image. The portrait is located at the Shanghai Graffiti Park, among other works of expression and creativity.
Akashi says, "This artwork exemplifies Nelson Mandela’s 27 years of incarceration but also symbolizes his lifelong brave stand for equality. Nelson Mandela is an extraordinary artist of peace. He sacrificed his own freedom to fight for the freedom of others and therefore represents a fantastic source of inspiration for the entire world."
Watch the artist create the tribute below: