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.

25 February 2013

For Phagmo Dhondup and Tsezung Kyab

For Phagmo Dhondup and Tsezung Kyab 27 yrs old

Phagmo set himself on fire near Jhakhyung Monastery in Palung Region, Eastern Tibet on February 24th

Tsezung Kyab, near Shitsang Monastery in Luchu region of eastern Tibet on February 25th, at the same spot where his cousin, Pema Dorjee, passed away on December 8 2012.

'Peace is like air. Once it is gone, you can not breathe' the same applies to freedom and love.
Without them, it is like living with a cage around you