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Jyoti’s art first developed as he began translating the power of language into visual form. Over time, the imagery in his drawings, paintings, and artist books were informed by prehistoric cave paintings, aboriginal pictographs, and Egyptian hieroglyphs. The rhythm, syncopation and improvisational aspects of Jazz that accompanied him through the early morning hours working in the studio guided his compositions. Jyoti purchased a saxophone to make his own music and the haunting sounds in many of his videos are electronically composed.

The art and rituals that Jyoti absorbed from his native Nepal inspire the rich palette of colors and Tantric geometries in much of his work. While attending the Besant Theosophical School in Varanasi, India in the 1960s, Jyoti was exposed to a fusion of eastern and western mystic traditions that seek to convey the divine essence of nature. Later exposure to the art of Wassily Kandinsky, an early modernist who also embraced theosophy, reinforced Jyoti’s personal style of abstraction, as did the art of Paul Klee and abstract expressionists Jackson Pollack and Adolph Gottlieb.

Jyoti began drawing and painting in 1973 while enrolled at Claremont Graduate School (now Claremont University) in California. Five years later, he had his first solo exhibition at Pitzer College’s Salathe Gallery. After completing his dissertation, “Kathmandu: Concepts for Rejuvenation” and earning a PhD in Government, Jyoti devoted himself to making art.

Jyoti lived in a two-story carriage house on the campus of Claremont University, where he worked part-time as coordinator of the audiovisual department. He taught himself video using the equipment in his department. His first film, “Sunrise on a Planetary Dream” (1983-1985) reveals a microscopic view into the cosmic imagery of twenty enamel paintings from the late 1970s. Jyoti highlights the intricate details that defined his technique of swirling and blending vibrant enamel colors purchased at the local hardware store. The imagery morphed back and forth between the biological and the galactic.