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.

18 September 2015

Remember Tenzin Wangmo, October 17 2011

For Tenzin Wangmo, a 20 year-old Tibetan nun, who set fire to herself in a protest early afternoon in Ngaba, Amdo, Tibet on October 17 2011.

She called for the Dalai Lama's return to Tibet and for religious freedom for about 10 minutes while burning.  She died at the Sumdo bridge, located below her nunnary, Mame Dechen Chokorling Nunnery.

In the painful photo of her body burned down in the grass area,  a few figures of nuns far coming to her can be seen.   They must have been rushing with their hearts aching with sadness.
Police demanded to give her body to them, but nuns rejected and it is said that Tenzin Wangmo's body was cremated in the evening of October.