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. firstname.lastname@example.org
8 January 2018
25 December 2017
He set himself on fire near Kirti Monastery, which is known for many monks' self immolations in the past. The video came out to the exile side shows him walking engulfed in the flame along with a recording of a woman's voice reciting a prayer ' May Gyalwa Rinpoche protect and bless him'.
His body was immediately taken by the security force soon after and admitted to the hospital around 10 pm. He passed way around 5 a.m on the following day.
His body was cremated right away by the police and only a handful of ashes was returned to the family.
His parents, 5 siblings, and a wife whom he married one year ago are left behind.
It is said that his father is under detention by the police, being forced to cover the cost of the medical expenses while Kunbey spent his last some hours at the hospital.
May all the pains and darkness get eliminated from each of us, each community, society, country, and the earth so as nobody has to sacrifice his life like this.
29 November 2017
For Venerable Tengha, 63 yrs old monk, who self immolated on November 26 2017 in Karze, Kham, Tibet.
According to a witness, he called for freedom for Tibet and return of Gyalwa Rinpoche while being engulfed in flame. He died on site and the security force took his body right away.
He became a monk at very young age at Karze Monastery when his parents both passed away.
He was in charge of organising prayer sessions and rites in nearby villages and was a well respected figure by local people.
20 November 2017
so we shall not contaminate such water.
13 November 2017
Art news- "Drawings from Dharamsala" at National Chiao Tung University Arts Center September 21 to October 30 2017
Drawings,mixed media installation, and art videos from "Drawings from Dharamsala" were exhibited from September 21 to October 30 2017 at Arts Center of National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu-City, Taiwan. This was the first time to show a large body of works, although not all, which have been accumulated since my 6 month stay in Dharamsala in 2012 up to present. I was told the exhibition and lectures were all well 'felt' by students on campus and visitors. Much gratitude to the professor who arranged my visit and exhibition, volunteer students, and gallery stuff who made this occasion wholesome and meaningful.
Note: As I often mentioned in different interviews, I do not feel that these drawings were drawn by me, but by collective consciousness of lost lives. Therefore, I wish that you skip my name and 'see' drawings directly.
I have started drawing them because I felt a strong urge to do so for these fellow sisters and brothers, whom I have never met but feel very close to. I have always hoped the peaceful resolution would come to the Land of Snows and in the world someday soon for these sacrifices to stop. However the situation is not better, more lives have been lost up till now.
さる ２０１７年９月２１日から１０月３０日まで台湾の新竹市にある国立交通大学のアートセンターで 個展 ”ダラムサラからの絵”が開催されました。２０１２年、インドのダラムサラで６ヶ月滞在した時から 今に至る８０点あまりのドローイング、ミックスト・メディア・インスタレーション、アートビデオが展示されました。企画をしてくださった教授、展示を手伝ってくれた生徒さん達、ギャラリーのスタッフのおかげでとても感慨深い経験になりました。また ギャラリーからのメッセージによると ２千人あまりの訪問者があったということです。このシリーズの絵は 自分が描いている時に度々 描いているのは自分でなく 自由を求めて亡くなっていった 方達が そばにいて描いているように強く感じました。だから 一種のいろいろな あったこともないけれどもとても近く感じる 人たちの祈りや望みの集合意識の絵だと 思っています。’彼らの絵’が たくさんの人に伝わったことを 以前状況が変わらず悲しく想う中にも嬉しく思います。
31 July 2017
Passan was from Gyaltse in Shigatse, Tibet. He arrived in India in 1991 and had lived in Dharamsala. He was a wood painter at Norbulingka Institute since 2012.
Lingkor is a path that circulates below where the main temple and where H.H. Dalai Lama's resident are on the tip of McLeod Ganj. Many Tibetan people go there to do circumambulation in the early morning and evening while reciting prayers. It is an important ritual to do so and many walk on the path every day to send prayers. The path is adorned with many prayer flags and surrounded with rush green and trees.
One witness heard him raising slogans 'long life to Gyalwa Rinpoche' while in flame. Others noticed him in flame, tried to get help, but it was too late to rescue him.
He came alone all the way from Shigatse, lived alone in the foreign land, and decided to do his lone protest on the path of prayers.
16 July 2017
Tenzin is from the Kollegal Tibetan Settlement in South India, and is a student at the Central University for Tibetan Studies in Varanasi.
He is in critical condition with burns over 60 percent of his body and is treated in a hospital in Varanasi.
It is painful to feel his, his parents' , and a whole community's pain. It is truly heartbreaking to witness so many fellow brothers and sisters, including young people like him, choosing to take an extremely painful form of protest like this because of a strong sense of injustice and urge for freedom.
And many of us stand with heavy heart at a loss, even though many of us wish for the better world for them, us, and all.
I want him to live. It may be a painful path of recovery, but I wish him to keep living fully in the Great Ocean called life.
14 July 2017
I have always kept him, her and their poems in my heart and wished for his release and reunion with his beloved Liu Xia, who had been under a house arrest while he was in prison. I, like many thousands of others, wanted him to live in the peaceful and free world.
Liu's passing brought the sad memory of another inspiring human being, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche's passing on July 12 2015. Like Liu, he was the one who did everything to serve his Tibetan community spiritually, culturally and socially, which led the authority to arrest him out of fear for his popularity and influence to local Tibetans. He committed no crime and passed away in prison.
May each of us carry on their wills and spirit and never let these kinds of tragedy happen again. I believe that how this world manifests in the future depends on each of us.
Never forget that there so many other nameless shining stars like them who did not give up expressing for the human rights in exchange of their lives.
the sound of vegetables being chopped
daybreak is bound and severed
dissipated by a paralysis of spirit
Between the light and the darkenss
that seems to surface through my eyes'
apertures, from my seat of rust
I can't tell if it 's the glint of chains
in the cell, or the god of nature
behind the wall
The day's dissidence
makes the arrogant
sun stunned to no end
you in a far place
with nights of love stored away
26 June 2017
He called out slogans such as "Tibetans don't have rights and freedom' and 'We want to freedom".
The incident took place around 10 a.m. near Jokhan temple and soon after the local police and the security perosonnel arrived at the scene and covered the spot from four sides using large clothes.
Tibetans trying to approach were blocked and also told that it was a care of suicide and not a protest.
From far away, I can only offer many white kathaks to hold and heal his wound.
Strong wishes for freedom can not be covered up with cloths and lies.
Note: Due to immediate restriction by the local police and security, the identity of the Tibetan remains unknown as of now.
17 June 2017
She was a widowed mother of four children.
According to Tibetan monks from Kirti monastery who are now in exile, as she set herself ablaze, Rinchen shouted "Return His Holiness to Tibet" and "We need freedom". She passed away soon afterwards.
While drawing her after five years of her passing, I think about her children and the land of Ngaba, where close to 50 people have self immolated since 2009. Its beautiful green pasture holds so many tear drops, strong spirit, and desperate prayers for peace and freedom.