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 December 2013

For Konchuok Drakpa

For Konchuok Drakpa, whose life was taken in a prison. His body– which bore signs of severe beatings and torture – was returned to his family on December 28 2013.

He was arrested in December 2013 because of his leadership in a mass non-violent protest against mining of the sacred mountain by a Chinese government in Diru.

He was married with two small sons.