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.

28 December 2013

For Konchuok Drakpa

For Konchuok Drakpa, whose life was taken in a prison. His body– which bore signs of severe beatings and torture – was returned to his family on December 28 2013.

He was arrested in December 2013 because of his leadership in a mass non-violent protest against mining of the sacred mountain by a Chinese government in Diru.

He was married with two small sons.

23 December 2013



Someday soon
Sad flames will stop burning
Glacier water stay pure and clean
to heal and tame the wounded past

A bridge of peace is open
Mountains are free and safe to walk

I dream my friends and people I do not know in the world
can all cross the peace bridge to their home

On a cloudy day with dim light, towards the end of 2013

19 December 2013

For Tsultrim Gyatso

For Tsultrim Gyatso, a 42 yrs old monk who self immolated in Amchok town,Sangchu County, Malho, Tibet on December 19 2013.

He was a monk at Amchok Monastery. He died instantly and soon local Tibetans and monks took his charred body to his monastery.

"The tears
The heart aches

Dear brother
Can you hear me?
Can you see it?
Can you hear it?
Whom should we appeal to [relieve] the suffering of six million Tibetans?

I offer my body to the fire
I pray that my sacrifice serves all the sentient beings in their path to liberation"

The extract from his last note translated by TCHRD

12 December 2013

November 2012 in Tibet 2 ( 28 butter lamps)

Portraits of people who demonstrated their faith by offering their bodies

Wangchen Norbu November 19
Tsering Dhongub November 20
Lubhum Gyal November 21
Tamdin kyab November 22
Tamding Dorjee November 23
Sangay Dolma November 25
Wangyal November 26
Konchok Tsering November 26
Gompo Tsering November 26
kalsang Kyab November 27
Sangay Tashi November 27
Wonde Khar November 28
Tsering Namgyal November 29
Kunchok Kyab November 30

November 2012 in Tibet ( 28 butter lamps)

Portraits of people who demonstrated their faith by offering their bodies in flame.

Dorjee Lhundup November 4
Tamdin Tso November 7
Tsegyal November 7
Sumdup November 7
Dorjee Kyab November 7
Dorjee November 7
Kalsang JImpa November 8
Gompo Tsering November 10
Nyingchag Bum November 12
Nyingkar Tashi November 12
Tangzin Dolma November 15
Khabum Gyal November 15
Sondak Tsering November 17
Chagmo Kyi November 17

9 December 2013

for Bhenchen Kyi

 another portrait of Bhenchen Kyi
that I drew on December 9 2012

for Bhenchen Kyi

Today one year ago, the 17 yrs old Bhenchen Kyi set herself on fire in Dokarmo, Tsekhog region, Rebkong, Amdo.

I drew her portrait today. 

Finally I feel that one aim,that has been calling for some time in my heart, is filled.  She is the one of women who died in protest and whom I have not drawn a portrait for.

When she passed away, there was no photo of her arrived from Tibet to the exile Tibetan community.  We mourned her without knowing her face.

I remembered Bhenchen's photo had come out much later finally but I could not find it when I needed it.

 Tsering Woeser la kindly sent me her picture in June
with a note "这是她的照片,勇敢的、美丽的女孩!this is her photo. brave and beautiful girl".

sending you prayers, candle lights and lotus flowers.

3 December 2013

For Konchok Tseten

For Konchok Tsetan, 30 yrs old nomad
Who self-immolated in Meruma town, Ngaba, Amdo, Tibet on December 3rd.

Survived by his wife and two children

 Kunchok Tseten shouted  "Long live Gyalwa Tenzin Gyatso, lets unite our brothers here and those in exile", before collapsing a few metres away.

Tseten's wife Namnang, 28, and a few of his relatives were arrested. A few bystanders involved in manhandling with the police were also arrested.

I only pray here, feeling cold air in his homeland.