Kathmandu has been a core of culture and learning for hundreds of years, renowned for its craftsmen, architects, and artists. Beautiful traditional art in the form of carved statues, pagoda temples, Buddhist thankas, and Maithili wall murals form a rich backdrop of art.When it comes to the streets, however, more often than not, brick and cement walls are emblazoned with quickly painted political slogans or crudely slapped on movie fliers that nobody spares a second glance.However, over the past couple of years, street art in Nepal has exploded. Lax laws about graffiti and continuous construction makes the country an ideal place for experimentation and creativity in street art. Projects such as Kolor Kathmandu, which brought together national and international artists to the streets to paint a representation of each of the 75 districts in Nepal, and individual Nepali street artists have changed the face of the city.
Locals have taken to giving a bow of respect to street art featuring religious imagery. It is a welcome respite from bare cement walls or meaningless political statements.
Nepal is an ecological hotspot, and is an important refuge for many critically endangered animals. It is something that Nepali people are keenly aware of and street art featuring these animals are looked upon approvingly.
No matter how many struggles this small country has gone through, there is still a strong sense of pride in the Nepali people. It could be in the textiles created by hand, the tallest mountain in the world, or just to announce joyfully, as in the mural created by volunteers from Children's Art Museum of Nepal, that we are "Nepali".
Pictures provided by Children's Art Museum of Nepal and Sattya.