Street art: An impressive genre of Nepali society


Street art is any form of art that has developed in a public place. Moreover, the art in the street to express the feeling is street art. Easiest and the most effective way to endure messages concerned to political ideology, social issues and confrontation on the street walls are street art. It has its own glory.  In this post modern era open platform is street. There are different forms of street art that includes graffiti artwork, stencil, stickers’ cot, street poster art. Street art has its own history too.  At first it was the stencils which have a parallel history with graffiti. It has become the instrument for socio-political activities for those who declared themselves as powerful agents to change existing society with heavy weight messages.  In this context Banksy, as an anonymous England based street artist, political activist, was tagged as the world’s first street art disaster movie debut in 2010.   

It conveyed the quick message to all. That is why street art earned its place in the contemporary art world.  Some of the earliest expressions of street art where graffiti started sharing ideas up on the side of cars, trains walls which were the works of gangs of New York in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Street art and graffiti has become the ephemeral movement in the then period of time. The street has waved to different parts of the world from the western world. Among the street artists we have to take Bansky’s name that comes first. 

There are several famous street art among Berlin Street Art by JR pictured in Berlin on 16 April 2013. A man named Francisco Rodriguos da Silva, known as Nunca in the neighborhood of Sao Paulo on 7th April 2008 was the best mural artist. A mural of Nelson Mandela by Graffiti artist Mark 1 on 7th 2013 in cape town in South Africa is well known of that time. A mural by Del Kathryn Burton entitled ‘The Whole of Evening’ which adores the side of an apartment block is found as the glorious example of street art in central Melbourne on 8 July 2008. Till 2013 the street art was able to expose cultural phenomena from Lisbon, Moscow, Los Angeles, Bogota, Bethlehem, Palestine and the rest of the world.          

Back home before the people’s movement the wall of street of Kathmandu was just for the politicians.  It was a message to the public written ‘bandha’ and the slogans of politicians.  The wall was for the movie posters too.  Nonetheless, we see the same wall is packed by the art work today.  It shows the positive symptoms in society.  

The movement of Street Art in Nepal is not new though the visit of international street artist Bruno Levy in 2011 gave all the shape to the wall with colorful messages. His attempt to beautify the street of Kathmandu through the big project watched by our youths around the valley has become a source of inspiration to all.  Henceforth, at present youths are self reliant to attach to the wall giving the vivid expression in the socio political issues of postmodernism in Nepal. The satirical doctrine of Street Art has become the ultimate platform to warn the leaders that epoch like the tsunami.  

The graffiti is writing, painting in public places especially on the wall.  It is concerned with the permission of owners. If not permitted to draw on the wall it becomes like vandalism, otherwise with the permission it becomes street art. Moreover, most importantly graffiti with permission is mural art. Both are real pieces of art directly applied to the wall, so, I consider it as the applied form of Art at present, where I stand and view Laxman Shrestha as a street artist with his  team. He started his journey from Nepaljung as a young and energetic street artist.  

Emergence of youths on the wall has forced the government to take some actions to do something for the artist. Today’s artists, on one hand, come up with traditional art and its value along with contemporary art; whereas there is a great pressure on the artist because of the influence of globalization. Despite the confused circumstances the new theme of art has developed in the Nepali art field. They have picked up on socioeconomic conditions, unstable politics and psychic behavior of people as the agenda in front of common people. It has become the easiest way to convey the message to the citizens of a country. It was the dream of  artist Laxman Sherstha to have to come on the wall from different corners of the country. 

Despite the fact, there are several street artists amongst them Shraddha Sherstha, Kalo 1o1, Sadhu, ArtLab, Artudio and many more young artists who contributed in this field.  Nonetheless, Kathmandu Metropolitan city recently had agreements with Nepal Academy of Fine Art to complete numerous murals in the different parts of the city within mid-June 2024. Thanks to mayor Balen Shah declaring and finding the importance of Street Art has separated the budget to complete street art within the special areas of Kathmandu.

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