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.

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.