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.

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