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 April 2016

Remember Losang Jamyang January 14 2012

For Losang Jamyang, 22 yrs old man, who self immolated on January 14 2012 in the township of Ngaba, Amdo, Tibet.  He doused himself with kerosene and set himself on fire in a toilet in Ngaba and came out calling for the long life of Gyalwa Rinpoche and Tibetan freedom. It is said that the police surrounded him to beat with with iron rods with nails while he is in flame.  The video clip which came out to the exile side showed clearly that the security personnels were beating him and there were a large group of local Tibetans screaming against their inhumane actions.

The security police started shooting to the crowed and a few were severely injured. A woman called Choeki Dawa was shot in her leg and believed to have scrambled to death.  It is said there were many who were injured by shooting or were detained.

Losang passed away in the hospital on 16th and his family went to beg the authority to return his body however it is not certain if their wish were fulfilled.

He was known as the main person to promote the importance of learning and keeping Tibetan for Tibetan culture and identity, for which the local authority tried to pressure or threat him.