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.

26 March 2012

For Jamphel Yeshi

For Jamphel Yeshi, who self immolated in New Delhi on March 26th 2012. He set his body on fire at a mass protest at Jantar Mantar, days ahead of Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to India.

His body was carried to Dharamsala on March 30 for a memorial celemony for him.

Thousands of faces with tears, thousands of white kathaks offered to his coffin, and thousands of prayers. People marched together with his coffin and watch his ashes going to the sky in the forest, it was on the sunny and warm day in Dharamsala.