Country: Kenya   •    Medium: Mixed Media


Born in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1953, Kamal Shah is an artist of great reputation in this region and beyond. He holds degrees in English Literature and Fine Arts and a postgraduate diploma in textile design, all from the prestigious university of Leeds, UK.

In the early 1980s, Kamal ran the Rowland Ward Gallery in Nairobi. During the mid 1980s he became a founding member and art director of Kichaka, a multimedia workshop specializing in the printing of avant-garde African textiles. A decade later, he decided to forgo his other commitments to paint full time.

Shah is highly decorated and apart from numerous national media interviews in Kenya, Denmark, India and the U.K., his work has been featured by CNN International in their July 2000 edition of “The Art Club”.

He was awarded first prize in the mixed media category at The First Juried Contemporary Kenyan Art Exhibition, organized by the Alliance Francoise, The Goethe Institute and The Ministry of Culture, Kenya, in February 2006.

Thereafter, through 2008, he created 11 mixed media artworks for Barclays Bank and had an article published on the collection in the Kenya Airways in-flight magazine, “MSAFIRI” (edition 66, Feb to April 2009, “Modern Masterpieces” by Susan Linee).

His mixed media works are a story full of colour and strong visual textures, set on dark backgrounds; highlighting contrast, while his subjects mostly dwell on social and religious issues.