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.

5 February 2014

For Phagmo Samdrub

For Phagmo Samdrub, 27 yrs old and father of two children, who set himself ablaze in Dokarmo town, Tsekhog County, Malho,  Eastern Tibet on February 5 2014.

Chinese forces have tightened up the security and means of communications from outside have been shut down.

Like many other, you soaked your body in oil and offered yourself as a lamp to wish for peace and freedom in your country and for your people.

When will the time come when your sacrifice see that moment?