A surge of graffiti works have descended upon the walls of Kathmandu in Jamal, Kantipath, Pulchowk and Lainchaur. Kathmandu natives have long been indifferent to the bold onslaughts of political slogans on walls by political parties. But the new murals that came up on the streets, seemingly overnight, were different; they made people curious, they were noticed.
Letterings and painted imageries were seen around the city, but for a change, these were not for or against any politcal party as the artists responsible had no visible political leanings. They were anonymous painters, interacting with the public through their colours and ideas, refurbishing the streets that were once laden with pesky slogans and film posters. The artists, Bruno Levi, Yeti, Rainbow Warrior and Mr. K, have perfornmed these particular works, representing a new wave in Nepali street art.
Text & pictures by Yelisa Joshi.
(Left) "We make the Nation" with this slogan a street art event combinedly organized by Image School (Image Park) and Artudio in the boundary wall of Himalayan Hotel of Kupandol, Lalitpur.
Graffiti is becoming an increasingly popular cultural movement in the West, hailed as one of the most uniquely postmodern forms of artistic expression, although it is still illegal. In Nepal, however, the lines are blurred. When you have city walls that are already buried under film posters, advertisements and painted
campaign announcements, there are few mechanisms to prevent street art. Besides, these works provide interesting visuals and a welcome relief from the gaudy mess that is generally seen on walls.
(Left) A political slogan gets replaced by an art at Kupandol, Lalitpur. The main target of wall paints is to make the walls free from the political slogans and fill it with some creativity of art.
Showing the creativeness through art by using the bricks of walls saying "We make the nation and lets join our hands to make the city clean clear, full of beauty, loveable, full of prosperity, peaceful."
The Image Park along with Artudio are leading an effort to transform the walls of Kathmandu. On special occasions, the artists gather overtly on the streets to perform their street art together and the public is encouraged to participate. Their objective is to reclaim, rejuvenate and reintroduce the city with art work,motivate youth towards creative activities, bring art within the reach of public taking the public space as an open canvas, motivate all to join in their hands and work toward a brighter future for the nation.
An octopus playing Table tennis. The art work was done on the wall of British council, Lainchour by both Nepali n foreign artists which was continued for about 2-3 weeks at the time of rainy season.
A piece of art that is sketched on the wall of a shop as their advertisement. This shop sells the items focused to the tourist at Lainchour.
"I AM YETI" a artist named Yeti wrote his name on the wall of "Nepal Khani Tatha Bhugaerva Bibhag" Lainchour.
The art made on the wall of Lazimpat infront of Ambassador Hotel.
The art piece on the wall of a house in front of Garden of dreams, Keshermahal. This house is occupied by office and it is evident that people in the community are eager to bring street art into their homes too.
Bruno Levi, an artist from New York, has painted this picture along the wall of Keshermahal showing the graffiti.
A smiling face painted by Bruno Levi on the wall of Jamal. There are two smiling face on the same wall.
An eye on the wall of Engineers Association at Jamal. This wall contains only one eye, and I suspect that it is trying to tell something to people.
"Healthy Hand" Drawn at the boundary wall of Trichandra Campus, Jamal on the day of nation Hand washing day. On the event the artist painted 400 meter long boundary wall of Tri-Chandra campus with the involvement of hundreds of school children, Artist of Nepal, Photographers, Volunteers and Health Assistant of Red Cross Society.
Yelissa Joshi is a student of theasiamag.com photography workshop - a joint project with the Little Sisters Fund, Takshashila Academy, and The Patatas.