Towards the last two months of my last visit to India in the spring of 2012, I encountered the Tibetan community in exile in India experiencing painful news of their people self-immolating in fire one after another in China-occupied Tibet. My experiences in the past visits in India (drawing a cremation site in Varanasi, documenting fire pits, cremation alters, and contemplating on life and death around fire) synchronized with this particular movement, an extreme way of ‘offering’ their bodies to ‘fire’ for asking freedom and peace.I could not help drawing large and small drawings as emotional response and with a sense of mourning.

After coming back to Vancouver, the self-immolation kept happening and I felt that my personal and professional task is not finished.

I have come back to India to continue to document and draw under the same theme.

27 August 2012

for Lobsang kalsang and Damchoe

For Lobsang kalsang and Damchoe who self-immolated together in Ngaba, Amdo on August 27th

Age of 18 and 17

Self-immolation will not end unless suppression transforms to surrender.
The fearful suppresses. The fearless would not surrender

21 August 2012


White rain, red flame, red hand and white flower petals

16 August 2012

Real dream

'White bird, let me use your wings, I will not go far, will fly to Lithang and come back'
'Dalai Lama the 6th'

13 August 2012

for Lungtok and Tashi

For Lungtok and Tashi, who self-immolated in Amdo Ngaba on August 13th, 2012.

Even bodies, animals, and land tied up with metal fences, nobody can take their hearts and belief away.

Fence can not block water from flowing

10 August 2012

for Choepa

For Choepa, 24 yrs old who self-immolated in Me'uruma region, Amdo Ngaba on August 10th 2012.  He set himself on fire, while walking and raising slogans.

May you and many other reach that white light, free of pain and suffering

7 August 2012

for Lobsang Tsultrim and Dolker Tso (Kyi)

For Lobsang Tsultrim who set himself on fire in Ngaba, Amdo on August 6th 2012, and for Dolker Tso (Kyi), who set herself on fire in Kanlho, Amdo on August 7th 2012.

47 burning vessels since 2009