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.

3 December 2012

For Lobsang Gendun

December 3rd, 2012.
For Lobsang Gendun, 29 yr old monk, who self-immolated in Golog Pema Dzong, Amdo.  Engulfed in flames, he walked his hands clasped in prayers, raising slogans.  After hundreds of steps, he fell to the ground near a monument of a lotus flower.