The University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Confucius Institute (CI) proudly presents the panoramic Epic Painting Mandela World Tour to the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (FADA) Atrium. Titled Mandela the 38 metres long and 3, 8 metres high oil painting celebrates three important stages of the iconic statesman’s life and will be on display from Wednesday 22 April 2015 until Friday 8th of May 2015.
The process to create this detailed imaginary took two years. It is a combination of 15 pieces which combine to form Mandela’s lifetime timeline. Bin saw Nelson Mandela on TV in the 90s while living in New York and was intrigued by the man who was admired worldwide. He calls this work a portrait of Mandela, because of the impact he had internationally.
“South Africa is a rainbow nation. I did a lot of research on this country and gathered a lot of material in 2012, when I was here. I designed the whole painting like a rainbow capturing three journeys of prisoner-Mandela; President Mandela and peacemaker-Mandela,” said Li Bin on the background of the painting.
The painting is on its third significant instalment of the world tour. “2015 is the official year of China in South Africa Friendship. China has been invited to South Africa and will be organizing a number of cultural and academic symposiums to celebrate the friendship between the two countries,” says UJ’s CI: Co-Director Prof Alban Burke.
The first installation was on International Mandela Day, on the 18th of July 2014, at the Shanghai Himalayas Museum in China. The second instalment was on the 5th of December 2014 at Beijing’s 798 Art Zone. It will continue to go to New York and Sweden.