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.

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?