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.

30 November 2012

For Kunchok Kyab

For Kunchok Kyab, 29 yrs old, who self immolated on November 30 2012 in Ngaba, Amdo, Tibet.
After his self-immolation, the local security took him away and some young Tibetan men followed the vehicle to take Kunchok back. Kunchok passed away at the hospital on December 1st and only a part of ash was returned to his family. Those who followed the vehicle are still missing.

We have our language
We have our belief
We have deep love to our gurus and land
We have hearts and brains
Warm blood is flowing in our bodies, like yours
Treat us like human beings