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.

19 December 2013

For Tsultrim Gyatso

For Tsultrim Gyatso, a 42 yrs old monk who self immolated in Amchok town,Sangchu County, Malho, Tibet on December 19 2013.

He was a monk at Amchok Monastery. He died instantly and soon local Tibetans and monks took his charred body to his monastery.

"The tears
The heart aches

Dear brother
Can you hear me?
Can you see it?
Can you hear it?
Whom should we appeal to [relieve] the suffering of six million Tibetans?

I offer my body to the fire
I pray that my sacrifice serves all the sentient beings in their path to liberation"

The extract from his last note translated by TCHRD