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Art Collection Sketched by Nelson Mandela, Painted by Tan Swie Hian Up for Auction

Part of Mandela's Unity Series created in 2004 will be up for bidding at a Bonhams sale, Hong Kong, May 29.

  • 1. 'Struggle'

A rare set of six art pieces sketched by renowned South African politician Nelson Mandela and lithographed and painted by Singaporean artist Tan Swie Hian will be auctioned at BonhamsFine Chinese and Southeast Asian Paintings Sale in Hong Kong on May 29. The Nelson Mandela Unity Series depict the hands and arms of Mandela breaking free from manacles, which he created in 2004. The sketches were then made into 34 lithographs for invited artists to augment, with Tan being the only Southeast Asian chosen.

(RELATED: Tan Swie Hian’s impressions of political giant Lee Kuan Yew.)

  • Nelson Mandela Unity Series comes with a customised box

“In the works, I complemented his hand signs with Buddhist mudras (symbolic hand gestures) to show that during his long walk to freedom, he had received the divine blessings,” said Tan, “It is evident in what he produced that among his many skills is that of a creative person wishing to make a statement that affects the viewer.”

(RELATED: The Peak selects from Tan Swie Hian’s Poems and Short Lines.)

The set, with a customised box and framed as a series, is estimated to fetch HK$700,000 to HK$1 million (S$122,000 to S$180,000), with proceeds going to the Nelson Mandela Foundation. For more information, visit www.bonhams.com.

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