Manish Harijan is a Nepalese-ultra-contemporary artist who lives in Sheffield, UK.
The son of a shoemaker from the so-called Dalit or so-called untouchable caste, through art, Manish questions the injustices inflicted upon minorities and the lived experiences of vulnerable populations in all societies around the world.
His work traverses the East and the West, casting iconic images from religion to pop culture, smoothly embedding them in one canvas to create bold, beautiful and thought-provoking paintings.
His main medium of expression is painting using oil, acrylic and mixed media with techniques tending toward Superflat.
Inspired by the Nepali art traditions of Thangka and Paubha, Manish also borrows styles from graphic novels, especially manga and popular superhero comics. He calls it the ‘Thang-Su-flat’ technique.
Manish’s compositions reference a variety of subjects from social issues of caste discrimination to art history, merging local stories with the global, fairy tales with current news pieces, and mythology with facts — questioning both the portrayal and the portrayed.
In 2012, for his first solo exhibition at Siddhartha Art Gallery in Kathmandu, Manish brought together these themes challenging the status quo of tradition, hierarchy, religion and beliefs in Nepal. Unfortunately, the gallery was vandalised and Manish was sent death threats and accused of being anti-Hindu for portraying Hindu gods in superhero costumes. The exhibition was shut down, court cases were filed and UNESCO issued a press release to support the artist’s freedom of expression.
Manish’s artwork has been acquired for the UK’s Government Art Collection 2020/21.
He won the “Exhibition Award 2024″ at the New Art Exchange gallery at the NAE Open 2023 exhibition.
His works have also been exhibited at the Welt Museum in Vienna, the Museum of Communication in The Hague, the Nepal Art Council in Kathmandu, Yorkshire Art Space in Sheffield, India Art Fair in New Delhi, CKU Copenhagen in Denmark, October Gallery in London, ROSL Gallery in London, Bloc Project Sheffield, Artist’s Journey #3 in the UK and a solo show at Yorkshire Art Space Gallery 2022, Sheffield.
Besides painting, Manish also experiments with installations, sculptures and multimedia.
He works via his studio in Yorkshire Art Space, Sheffield.