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.

10 April 2015

For Yeshe Khando

For Yeshe Khando, a 47 years old nun, who self immolated in Ganze, Kham, Tibet on April 8 2015.

She went to kora ( circumambulation) around Ganze Monastery and around 9 am, she set herself on flame in front of the local police station. Her last words were " return of H.H. the Dalai Lama","Freedom in Tibet", and "One united Tibet, not two“. 

The police extinguished the flame and took her body away.  If she is dead or alive is not known.

She had been in a long meditation retreat and was known a calm and composed person.

"Give the ones you love
Wings to fly
Roots to come back
and reasons to stay"

Dalai Lama

With many prayers