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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. tomoyoihaya@hotmail.com

19 March 2014

For Goshul Lobsang la

Tomorrow We Together Here

Goshul Losang la

You have endured many months in the dark cell,
tortured, beaten up
till your body
became bones and skin

Even though your body were to go,
your spirit remained firm and clear,
like a clear light of Dorje Semba

Your firm belief without regret
you have served your life
To protect your culture, religion and freedom
and your 6 million Tibetan brothers and sisters

I had drawn you from a picture of you on painful death bed in March.
your figure on your death bed still keeps lingering in my heart
I wanted you to be in green pasture again
over looking snowy mountains
From which the new sun, glorious tomorrow, is rising