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.

22 January 2013

For Pawo Kunchok Kyab

For Pawo Kunchok Kyab, 26 yrs old who self-immolated near the Bora Monastery, Amdo Bora on January 22nd. He passed away in his fiery protest.

His body was taken by Chinese security force from the site of the protest and local Tibetan people gathered in front of the office to demand his body back, only to be rejected harshly.

survived by his wife and a ten-month old infant.

Broken Blue Sky
Torn Green Pasture
Return his body and freedom to this land and people

19 January 2013

For Jigjey Kyab

For Jigjey Kyab, 17 yrs old, who was
found dead with his body doused with kerosene and lighters in his hand due to suspected poisoning in Luchu region, Amdo on January 19 2013. He attempted setting himself on fire for protest.

"Father and mother, it is my hope that you will take care of yourselves. You are the most loving people in this world. I will repay your kindness in my next life." - a phrase from his will written neatly on the sheet of paper.

18 January 2013

For Tsering Phuntsok (Dropchok)

For Tsering Phuntsok (Dropchok)

The 28 yrs old self-immolated on Dachen Unity Square in Drachen village, Khyungchu region, Ngaba on January 18th 2013

Chinese security personnel arrived at the scene and bundled away his body to Barkham.

In Dharamsala, in freezing rain, people in exile gathered for a vigil for him while in his homeland, monks at Amchok Monastery carried out a prayer service.

Please return his body
His wife, two children, his people and his land

12 January 2013

For Tsering Tashi

For Tsering Tashi
22 yrs old, who self-immolated in Amchok, Amdo, Tibet on January 12, 2013.

In the morning before his self-immolation, he said ' I think I am wearing a chuba (Tibetan traditional dress) today. He, the gentle and quiet-natured man, then put on the thick chuba and carried out his fiery protest.

Local Chinese police restricted people from visiting his home to offer prayers. They surrounded his home and the entrance of his villege with their cars search-light on like watch dogs.