Winter Lights

Winter Lights

Nepal Academy of Fine Arts Gallery (NAFA), Kathmandu, 1994

Bamboo Lamps

This installation was conceived for an exhibition celebrating light on the eve of New Year in Nepal. Six artists used a variety of materials, including bamboo paper, earth, metal, string, oil and glass to interpret the theme.

Jyoti designed free-standing lamps out of bamboo and incorporated handmade Nepali paper into the shade to filter the light and accentuate the delicate beauty of this material. The lamps were arranged as sentinels, guarding the entrance to an attic room in the gallery. 

Visitors could glimpse the light emanating from the darkened space, which was filled with a variety of copper vessels arranged to focus on the central, altar-like niche. The artist defined this area with a bamboo mat cut to provide a backdrop to a large, elegant container filled with rice, the staple of Nepali cuisine. 

Two rows of traditional Newari oil lamps (called diyos) were filled with water and floating flowers. A center row with a variety of other vessels contained grains and and oil lamps that glowed within the darkened interior. Jyoti reimagined these objects, many used for spiritual purposes, to create a mediative space for contemplation and healing. At the same time, He celebrated Nepali culture and the beauty of the objects used in daily worship by providing a new context for their discovery.