Tobi Wilkinson — Gyuto



Tobi Wilkinson

Past: January 5 → February 2, 2019

To start off the new year, Galerie Thierry Bigaignon introduces a new program called “Matters that matter” through which, from time to time, it will invite foreign artists to exhibit for the first time in Paris on meaningful documentary subjects. Australian photographer Tobi Wilkinson will be the first invitee, showing her work on the Gyuto Monks of Tibet.

It took Tobi Wilkinson nine years of working with the Gyuto Monks to capture the slice of life within the monastery, and depict what is as much a state of mind as it is an architectural fact. Even though Tobi Wilkinson was an outsider, both as a westerner and a woman, she has been able to immerse herself with “fresh eyes” into their world.

Tobi wilkinson gyuto the%20ritual%20of%20learning courtesy galerie thierry bigaignon 1 medium
Tobi Wilkinson, The Ritual Of Learning, 0 Courtesy Galerie Thierry Bigaignon

The photographer renders her fascination for those human beings who embark on a spiritual journey and her photographs illustrate how long, intense and difficult learning is. Their Order was founded in 1475 and is one of the main tantric colleges of the Gelug tradition. The life of a Monk is not just one of sitting, chanting and meditating. It’s repetitive, it’s monotonous and that in itself is as much a part of their spiritual practice as the esoteric nature of the studies that they undertake.

Gyuto is a collection of pictures that are full of compassion, grace, and poetry, showing the contradiction of the impermanence of life against the continuity of tradition — an unbroken one of 600 years.

Tobi wilkinson gyuto not%20your%20real%20self courtesy galerie thierry bigaignon 1 medium
Tobi Wilkinson, Not Your Real Self, 0 Courtesy Galerie Thierry Bigaignon

“When I first laid my eyes on Tobi’s work, I instantly got swiped away by the profound elegance of her look. Tobi’s dedication to this project appears in every single image and I found it perfectly in tune with the Monks’ way of life. For this first « Matters that matter » exhibition, I wanted to put forward an important theme that anyone can relate to: dedication. »

Thierry Bigaignon


Tobi Wilkinson has been photographing for the last 15 years. For the best part of the last decade, she has been working with Tibetan monks both in their monastery in India and in her studio in Sydney. Tobi Wilkinson has been exhibiting in group and solo shows in Sydney, Melbourne, and Florence since 2010.

The photographs of the “Gyuto” series are gathered in a book, with a foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, which will be presented during the opening.

  • Opening Tuesday, January 8, 2019 5 PM → 8 PM

    Opening reception and book signature by the artist

03 Le Marais Zoom in 03 Le Marais Zoom out

18, rue du Bourg-Tibourg

75004 Paris

Hôtel de Ville

Opening hours

Tuesday – Saturday, 11 AM – 7 PM
Other times by appointment Ouverture également sur rendez-vous pour visites privées, 7 jours/7, entre 10h et 20h. Réservation sur le site de la galerie.

Venue schedule

The artist

  • Tobi Wilkinson