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.

30 May 2019

"Gwangju - City of Light" @ 5.18 Archives, Gwangju, South Korea May 17 to June 15 2018

“Gwangju – City of Light” 
@5.18 Archives
Gwangju, South Korea
May 17 to 23 – The first installation
May 24 to 30 – The second addition
May 31st to June 15th – The official exhibition dates *

June 7thThe 159th Meudonsan Sound of a Wind bell concert by the pianist Sang Rog Lee and his friends. I am doing a live painting during a part of session.

*Upon a request from 5.18 Archives that offered the space for the exhibition,
A part of works including a new video was installed for May 17th and 18th Gwangju uprising memorial day ahead of the actual exhibition dates. On May 24th, a few works were added. 

June 7th There will be a concert by the pianist Sang Rog Lee and his friends. I am doing a live painting during a part of session.

5.18.1980 is the significant number for Korean people.
May 18 1980 is the day that triggered a massive democratic uprising by students and civilians in Gwangju, which caused brutal massacre by the dictator government's army force. 

The content of the both exhibitions in Korea include a new art video 'City of Light', new and old drawings and mixed media installation works. I was fortunate to have 4 young artists to compose the video and a brilliant Korean pianist Sang Rog Lee for background music. The project started in September 2018 in Vancouver and the final recording of music composed and played by Mr.Lee was done at Bohemian Studio, Gwangju and finally edited by Myoung Jin Choi and Jung Yun Hwang one day before the partial opening of the exhibition on May 17th. 

Works that I exhibited at the exhibition in Taichung city, which reflect my learning experience about Taiwan's political social tragedies and struggle for democracy, will be on view.

It is a long story how I reached to Taiwan and Korea almost around time is a long story.  The only thing I can say is everything is a result of connections through  
empathetic contemplations on human rights, freedom and meaning of life.

Much gratitude goes to:
All dear friends in Vancouver who helped me with these projects.
Tsung Li Yang and his stuff/volunteers for bringing me to  Taichung city, Taiwan for the exhibition and a residency.
Myoung Jae Lee and his friends for their hard work to put the exhibition together in Cheonan.
AHHA Gallery director Myoung Jin Choi, and the dear AHHA Gallery family in Gwangju.
Seoul Family, Jin Yonju and Cho Yoonjoon
My travel guardian, Tanuko.