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.

17 September 2014

For Lhamo Tashi

For Lhamo Tashi, 22 year old student who set fire to himself outside a security office in Tsoe city, Amdo at midnight on September 17.

By the time his family who live in Drukdo village reached the police in Tsoe, his body had been cremated and only ashes was returned to his family.

This drawing does not capture your pure heartedness  and honesty that I can feel from the photo of you, but I offer this to you as my prayers.