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 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