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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. tomoyoihaya@hotmail.com

30 November 2012

For Kunchok Kyab

November 30th, 2012.
For Kunchok Kyab, 29 yrs old from Zoegey, Akyi region, Ngaba, Amdo.

After his self-immolation, the local security took him away and some young Tibetan men followed the vehicle to take Kunchok back. Kunchok passed away at the hospital on December 1st and only a part of ash was returned to his family. Those who followed the vehicle are still missing.

We have our language
We have our belief
We have deep love to our gurus and land
We have hearts and brains
Warm blood is flowing in our bodies, like yours
Treat us like human beings

29 November 2012

For Tsering Namgyal

November 29th, 2012.
For Tsering Namgyal, 31 yrs old, father of two from Luchu, Zamtsa, Lotso Dewa region, Amdo.  He self-immolated in front of the local Chinese government office.

28 November 2012

For Wangdhen Khar

 
November 28th, 2012.
For Wangdhen Khar.  21 yrs old who has self-immolated in Kanlho, Tsoe region.  Monks and local Tibetans gathered at his residence in Yarki Sokdhi village to offer prayers with butter lamps.

27 November 2012

For Sangay Tashi and Kalsang Kyab

November 27th, 2012.
For Sangay Tashi, 18 yrs old from Sangkhog town, Sangchu region, Labrang, Amdo, and for Kalsang Kyab, 24 yrs old, from Kangtsa Town, Ngaba, Amdo.  Both self-immolated in sake of liberation of their homeland and people

'May the sun of happiness shine on Tibet.'   Kalsang's last word.

May light keep shining in your heart on your journey back to your pasture, mountains and sacred water.

26 November 2012

For Wangyal, Gompo Tsering, and Konchok Tsering

November 26th, 2012
For 3 young souls who gave their lives in protest

Wangyal, around 20 yrs old from Sertha Region, Amdo
Gompo Tsering, 24 yrs old, Luchu region of Kanlho, Amdo
Konchok Tsering, 18 yrs old, Amchok region of Labrang, Amdo

Wangyal ran to the golden horse stature in the middle of Sertha town and fell on the ground

In Tso Pema( Lotus lake in tibetan)

Mar-Mee-Tong-Kor (Tibetan) - going around close-wise, chanting prayers with candles.

Last night we walked around the lake for souls who set themselves on fire in the high plateau of Tibet.  Many old Tibetans, some young, some monks and a few foreigners like me. We hope that you and survived ones could hear us chanting and see our lights all the way.

25 November 2012

For Sangay Dolma

November 25th, 2012.
For Sangay Dolma, 17 yr old nun from Dokarmo twon of Tsekhog, Malho, Amdo.
She protested herself in fire in front of the Chinese government office.

'Look up, fellow Tibetans
Look at the blue twilight above,
Like a heavenly tent of white mountain
My Lama has returned'

-First stanza from her poem left as her will

23 November 2012

For Tamding Dorjee

November 23rd, 2012.
For Tamding Dorjee, 29 yrs old from Dokarmo town, Tsekhog region of Malho.  He raised slogans for the long life of the Dalai Lama with his hand folded in prayer while engulfed in flame.  Survived by his wife, Tamding Tso, their three Children and his parents.

22 November 2012

For Lubum Gyal and Tamding Kyab

For Lubum Gyal, 18 yrs old from Dowa town of Rebkong, Amdo and for Tamding Kyab, 23 yrs old nomad from Kluchu region of Kanlho.

A white yak and a white boat will carry you along on a clear river.
We will put offering of rice, tea, butter lamps and send prayers for your safe journey to a next life, full of light.

20 November 2012

For Tsering Dhondup

For Tsering Dhondup, 35 yrs old, a father of three, from Amchok region of Labrang, Sangchu, Amdo.  He set himself on fire at the entrance of a gold mining site.

From our corpse, green grass will grow and site will become sacred pasture.  You are in the golden light.

19 November 2012

For Wangchen Norbu

for Wangchen Norbu, 25 yrs old from Kangtsa region.  He self-immolated near Kangtsa Gaden Chophel Ling Monastery, where monks had offered thousands of butter lamps for all self-immolaters on November 8th.

18 November 2012

For Tsegyue

For Tsegyue, 27 yrs old who succumbed to his injuries from his self-immolation protest on Nov. 18th 2012.

You set yourself on fire, captured by the police on November 7th, your whole body burnt.You were left in the dark cell at the local police station.
Nobody took care of your burn.  Our hearts burn with tears and pain, feeling your pain.  What were you feeling and smelling during that dark two weeks? Did you see the dun, the moon and stars from your window? So sorry we could not come to rescue you.
No more pain.

17 November 2012

For Chagme Kyi and Sandag Tsering

For Chagmo Kyi, 27 yrs old mother of two children and for Sandag Tsering,  a father who self-immolated in Rebkong, Amdo.

A tree of ripe and bright mango for your long journey.  You will have enough to fill your spirit bodies and bright mango-light will light your way.

16 November 2012

For Khabum Gyal and Tangzin Dolma

For Khabum Gyal, a teenager girl from Rongwo Village, Rebkong, Amdo and for Tangzin Dolma, 23 yrs old from Rebkong, Amdo.

Tangzin was seen offering prayers in the village temple in the early morning and blowing a conch shell on the day of her self-immolation.

12 November 2012

For Nyingkar Tashi and Nyingchag Bum

For Nyingkar Tashi, 24 yrs old, who self-immmolated in Dro Rongpo region, Rebkong, Amdo and  For Nyingchag Bum, 20 yrs old, who self-immolated in Dowa Region of Rebkong, Amdo.

'Six million Tibetans want freedom and independence for Tibet'

10 November 2012

For unidentified, Kalsang Jinpa, and Gampo Tsering

For unidentified person in Bekhar town, Driru County, Ngachu.  For Kalsang Jinpa, 18 yrs old normad in Rebkong, Amdo.  For Gampo Tsering, 19 yrs old, a young scholar in Tsoe Kanlho.  Self-immolated, one after another, on November 8th, 9th, and 10th 2012.

After your and many other souls passing in fire, thousands of students have stood up together for a peaceful protest.  I hope their prayers and our candle lights are showing your paths to the next.

7 November 2012

For Tamdin Tso

For Tamdin Tso, 23yrs old mother of one child, who self-immolated in Rebkong region of Amdo on November 7th 2012.

For Dorjee, Samdup, and Dorgee Kyab

For Dorjee, 15 yrs old, Samdup, 16 yrs old, and Dorgee Kyab, 16 yrs old.
3 Young monks of the Ngoshul  Monastery.  Together they set themselves on fire in front of the local Chinese police station on November 7 2012

4 November 2012

For Lhundup Dorgee

For Lhundup Dorgee, 25yrs old, who set himself on fire in Amdo Rebkong on November 4th 2012.