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.

29 January 2014

prisoners of conscience
in the era of bloodshed and flames in your countries
you stand firmly with humanity for other humans

may all iron bars and concrete walls crumble
may you return to your land,
full of light, clean air, water and a warm home

set them free, set them free

10 January 2014

What are you afraid of?
Your fearful aggression
in layers of stiff black uniforms
with guns and sticks
your heart is dried up inside

These people you arrest, beat and kill
are there only to nourish spirits of their people
and their ancient land
They own white hearts

They are no harm to you
Leave, set them free
Look at your own fears inside