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.

11 November 2013

For Tsering Gyal

For Tsering Gyal
A 20 yrs old monk from Akyong monastery who self immolated in Pema county in Amdo Golog, Tibet.

"He did it for the freedom of six million Tibetans and to highlight the need to re-install His Holiness the Dalai Lama to his golden throne."

"He called on the Tibetans to rise up now."

Wind is blowing, crying today
Branches of trees are like waves on the water
On this cold grey day
Sad news
Another life in flame on the high plateau of my heart home

Kusho Tsering Gyal la, I only can pray for you from far away.