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.

24 February 2016

Form of Prayers 祈りのかたち

My dear friend offered an opportunity to draw a drawing.
His requested themes were prayer and votive lights.

I remembered countless memories of being among flickering flames of butter lamps and candles.
I remembered so many faces of people praying and shedding tears.
Their faces were illuminated by the light of the lamps and candles.

Ocean of lights. Form of prayer. These words came up while I was painting a red flame on each vessel and candle.

心友から 絵を描く機会をいただきました。
灯明と祈りが 感じられるイメージをと。

灯明と祈りという言葉で浮かんできたのは 数え切れぬ記憶、

描いた 容器と蝋燭に、ひとつひとつ 赤い絵の具で灯を描きいれているとき、

灯の大海 祈りの形