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.

10 November 2012

For unidentified, Kalsang Jinpa, and Gampo Tsering

For unidentified person in Bekhar town, Driru County, Ngachu.  For Kalsang Jinpa, 18 yrs old normad in Rebkong, Amdo.  For Gampo Tsering, 19 yrs old, a young scholar in Tsoe Kanlho.  Self-immolated, one after another, on November 8th, 9th, and 10th 2012.

After your and many other souls passing in fire, thousands of students have stood up together for a peaceful protest.  I hope their prayers and our candle lights are showing your paths to the next.