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