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.

18 November 2012

For Tsegyue

For Tsegyue, 27 yrs old who succumbed to his injuries from his self-immolation protest on Nov. 18th 2012.

You set yourself on fire, captured by the police on November 7th, your whole body burnt.You were left in the dark cell at the local police station.
Nobody took care of your burn.  Our hearts burn with tears and pain, feeling your pain.  What were you feeling and smelling during that dark two weeks? Did you see the sun, the moon and stars from your window? So sorry we could not come to rescue you.
No more pain.