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.

20 July 2013

For Kunchok Sonam

For Kunchok Sonam, 18 yrs old, who self-immolated on July 20th in Zoege region, Amdo, Tibet.
He carried out his protest soon after the morning prayer session at Zoege Monastery.

Local people rescued his body before being taken away by the Chinese security personnel.

A Tibetan friend from Tsoe told me that Zoege has beautiful green grassland. By now how many drops of tears and blood of tragedy has it absorbed?

Please rest in your soft green motherland and come back when it is a free country. Soon.