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