Kiran Maharjan

Contemporary Artists


Kiran originally wanted to be a ‘regular’ artist and was encouraged to do so by his art teacher, but perhaps fortunately for the art community, events channelled him into a more surprising and innovative direction. As what one could term ‘a graffiti artist’ and ‘street artist’, Kiran has made a name producing some of the most amazing images on such a scale that cannot be ignored by the public. His family from Patan were not from an art background; his father had a shop, worked in construction and many other occupations. His father was, however, in his younger days, a keen sketcher as a hobby.


Kiran took a Bachelor’s in Fine Art at Kathmandu University and had hoped to follow on with a Master’s degree in Finland, but inexplicably his visa proved a sticking point. Undeterred, he continues to push the boundaries of what is possible. Street art became his great passion, and he was instrumental in the formation of Artlab; he and a few others developed their ideas and experimented with different themes. It is very difficult to sustain a living with temporary exhibitions and wall art that is often dismantled later or painted over, so he uses his artistic flair to work on commissioned works for indoor premises, fixed wall pictures and any images that are requested by embassies, corporate businesses, hotels and other promotions. Murals are in vogue these days, and it’s a developing fashion, so prospects look bright for this art form.


Kiran often uses digital tools to draw up the basic concept of the image before sketching and painting the final product. Naturally the content often touches on social and environmental issues, and at times controversial subject matter is bound to cause a stir. Like many artists, Kiran used to experiment with abstract and traditional themes, but he now prefers to keep to more humanistic subjects concerning that which unites and does not divide people. His series “Seven Moderate Sins” reflects on philosophy, post-modernism and contemporary issues related to culture and religion.

Such is the impact of some of his art that he has been invited to travel outside Nepal, to India and especially Goa, which has a considerable artist community. He has also been invited further afield to Oregon in the USA, to Denmark and perhaps ironically to Finland where he had hoped to study! A recent addition is the establishment of KOR, meaning ‘scribble’ in Nepali (say no more!) which has studios in Thamel, Patan and Kathmandu. It encourages contemporary art themes and seeks to bring more awareness about environmental and social issues. Kiran’s artwork is effervescent, vibrant and full of vitality, and to those who meet him, really reflect his own character and enthusiasm.

It’s unlikely that you will currently see any of Kiran’s work at the Museum of Nepali Art (MoNA), since it displays physical paintings, drawings and sculptures; his form of art is fleeting, temporary and generally only visible in settings commissioned by those seeking wall paintings and the like. But who knows what will develop in future?


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