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.

28 March 2013

For Tulku Thupten Nyendak and Ani Atse

For Tulku Thupten Nyendak, 45 yrs old and Ani Atse,23yrs old. Uncle and niece self-immolated together at Dzogchen monastery in Lhagang, Kham, Tibet back on April 6 2012

Their action was confirmed to be for a protest on march 28 2013.

They offered butter lamps before setting themselves on fire

'Today I feel at ease and am ending my life by offering butter lamps for all those Tibetans who have set themselves on fire for the cause of TIbet'
-Tulke's last call to his family

26 March 2013

For Kunchok Tenzin

For Kunchok Tenzin, 28 yrs old, a monk from Mogri Monastery in Luchu region, Kanlho, Amdo, Tibet.
He self-immolated on March 26 2013

Your portrait appeared online along with a photo of the monastery on the dry hill surrounded by mountains with dry trees.

Your face was beaming. It reminded me of a growing
young tree.

Friend send me a photo of a 2500 yrs old Tibetan cypress. Cypress is also called a sun tree.

I wish that your will will stay in our minds for that long, like this tree blessing and protecting your land and people.

25 March 2013

For Lhamo Kyab

For Lhamo Kyab, 43 yrs old, who set himself on fire in Sangchu region, Amdo, Tibet on March 25th 2013

'Before dawn, he piled up firewood, poured petrol to make a bonfire. Then he walked into it.

By the time the local people arrived, only did they find ash, the remains of his protest

The only picture we could see was the remains of the bonfire in the barren field and mountains behind.

Flowers are blooming here from dry branches and from the cold earth.

Wish you grow, grow like those flowers from ash

24 March 2013

For Kalsang Kyi (Kalkyi)

For Kalsang Kyi (Kalkyi), 31 yrs old, who set herself ablaze in Dzamthang, Ngaba, Amdo, Tibet on March 24 2013. Another protest against China's hardline and repressive policies on Tibet.

Mother of one daughter and three sons all under 15 years old

16 March 2013

For Lobsang Thokmey

For Lobsang Thokmey, 28 yrs old, a monk from Kirti Monastery. He self-immolated in Ngaba, Tibet on March 16th 2013.

The army took his body away from the local hospital.

March 16 is a painful memorial day for Ngaba people.
In 2008 there was a massive crackdown against the local protest for freedom. many lost their lives.
In 2011 Lobsang Phuntsog and in 2012 Lobsang Tsultrim, both from Kirti monastery, self-immolated.

When will peace come to Ngaba?

13 March 2013

For Kunchok Wangmo

For Kunchok Wangmo, a mother of an 8 yr old, set herself on fire on March 13 in the Dzoege region of Ngaba, Amdo,Tibet

News came late on 17th to the Tibet in exile community

Security force took her body.
Later returned her ashes to the family
Police forced her husband to sign the paper
'the reason of her passing is due to their internal dispute'
He denied and was arrested

It is heart breaking
to imagine how you became determined to give up your life so as your voice and thousands other voices for peace and freedom would be heard. Your Land of Snows is crying.

Truly hope that peace will prevail for your 8 yr old child and all others left behind. So as no more precious life like yours does not get lost

11 March 2013

For Drupchen Tsering ( Druptse) March 11 2013

For Drupchen Tsering ( Druptse) who set himself on fire in Kathmandu on February 13 2013

Yet his body is not returned

Return his body to his family and community
Return Tibetans you arrested

Return all the innocent and faithful people whom you put in prisons