PORTRAITS OF EXILE 

Non-Fiction Graphic Novel 

 

Portraits of Exile is a three-part non-fiction illustrated series, experimenting with material and form. The book uses translucent sheets as a means to document intangible memories, interspersing them with regular sheets of paper to represent physical realities. The text is interwoven with perforated models of homes to be constructed as a means of providing pause in the narrative and to suggest that home is not just a physical space, but an emotional and cognitive reality that we consciously build. 

The three books in the series follow the stories of Jampa, Kizom and Lobdorjee as Tibetan refugees living in Bylakuppe, India. 

 
 

Homecoming. Artist Book. 22 x 16 in.

Homecoming is the story of an elderly woman named Kizom, who ran away from home at the age of sixteen without telling anyone as she was sure to be dissuaded.  In India, she faced many challenges starting afresh, helping in the construction of houses and schools in their newly allocated home. Depicted above - Kizom assumes her family thinks she has been eaten by Yama, the god of death.

 
 
 

Homeland. Artist Book. 22 x 16 in.

Homeland is the story of a monk named Lobdorjee, who left his home in order to pursue a dream that his mother had for him - to study buddhist philosophy and become a monk, which was only possible away from his home. He talks about his home being shaped by his mothers presence, and the difficulty of leaving her behind, along with the adversities of his new life.  Depicted above - Lobdorjee left on the back of a truck with a palmful of Tibetan soil his mother handed to him. 

 
 

Homebound. Artist Book. 22 x 16 in

 
 

Homebound is the story of a young girl named Jampa, who left her family in Tibet at the age of six, in order to pursue her education at the Tibetan Children's Village where I met her. She recalls her journey away from her parents, travelling with a group of strangers in unfamiliar terrain, to an unknown destination filled with the promise of a better life. Depicted above - A wall in her home where photographs mark a shrine to remember the children studying in India.