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.

9 December 2013

for Bhenchen Kyi

Today one year ago, the 17 yrs old Bhenchen Kyi set herself on fire in Dokarmo, Tsekhog region, Rebkong, Amdo.

I drew her portrait today. 

Finally I feel that one aim,that has been calling for some time in my heart, is filled.  She is the one of women who died in protest and whom I have not drawn a portrait for.

When she passed away, there was no photo of her arrived from Tibet to the exile Tibetan community.  We mourned her without knowing her face.

I remembered Bhenchen's photo had come out much later finally but I could not find it when I needed it.

 Tsering Woeser la kindly sent me her picture in June
with a note "这是她的照片,勇敢的、美丽的女孩!this is her photo. brave and beautiful girl".

sending you prayers, candle lights and lotus flowers.