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. firstname.lastname@example.org
3 December 2013
For Konchok Tseten
Who self-immolated in Meruma town, Ngaba, Amdo, Tibet on December 3rd.
Survived by his wife and two children
Kunchok Tseten shouted "Long live Gyalwa Tenzin Gyatso, lets unite our brothers here and those in exile", before collapsing a few metres away.
Tseten's wife Namnang, 28, and a few of his relatives were arrested. A few bystanders involved in manhandling with the police were also arrested.
I only pray here, feeling cold air in his homeland.