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.

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.