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.

29 August 2015

For Tashi Kyi, August 27 2015

For Tashi Kyi, who self immolated in Kahlho, Amdo, Tibet on August 27 2015.  She passed away from her burns around 3 am on August 28th.  The police arrived in the morning and forcibly took away her body from the family.

On 27th, before her protest, she witnessed 150 officials and security personnel arrived in her village to claim official rights on a house an demolished the property.  The owner of the property and villagers protested, only to result beating and detention of the owner by security force.

This may have made her decide to carry out the self immolation protest to express her agony towards the injustice.

She was a mother of 5 children.