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.

13 January 2016

A bridge called hope

A bridge was there for hundreds and hundreds of years
One day a big storm came
River flooded, swallowing people, animals, and everything
The beloved bridge was split into half in the middle

Those survived kept a small butter lamp in each heart
that would never go off
With light of butter lamps
They gathered threads of hope
day by day to weave a little bridge

They never gave up.  They kept walking and will keep walking