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.

23 December 2014

For Kalsang Yeshe

For Kalsang Yeshe, 37 yrs old monk from Nyatso Monastery, who set himself on fire in Tawo, Kham, Tibet.

He carried out his protest outside of a security police outpost set up to monitor his monastery.  Before the protest, he called for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet and for freedom in Tibet.  He is believed to be dead.

 A couple of pictures of him came out onlin to the Tibetan in exile side immediately.
One of them was of him sitting among beautiful blue flowers on the grassland.

Tibet keeps burning. I wish that he and other lost lives could have lived fully and peacefully with those blue flowers under the 'free' blue sky.