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.

27 January 2015

Story of Water and Fire 2

"I have not murdered Kunchok Tseten. He died out of self immolation.  I simply lifted his body up and have put it into the vehicle. I have not committed any murder at all"
Dolma Tso spoke up at the court while being sentenced 3 years in prison on a murder charge.

This is one real story among thousands of others who did not give it in, act with compassion and dignity.

I dedicate this drawing to her, all other people who lit themselves instead of killing their enemies, who protested to be arrested in prisons and who are in exile far away from their loving families.

May all the lives blossom like flowers in the fields and flow like countless clear water streams again.