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 February 2013

For Rinchen and Sonam Dhargey

For Rinchen and Sonam Dhargey, who self-immolated together on February 19 2013 in Zoege, Kyangtsa Region, Amdo.

Rinchen was 17 yrs old and Sonam Dhargey 18 yrs old.

so young and unknown vast future ahead, yet, you decided to sacrifice your lives for others and your land's future.

May your spirit keep growing and growing by living among those left behind and on your motherland