A fine photographer who hung around with the Dalai Lama

August 14, 2008 – 1:07 pm

Pierre Toutain-Dorbec grew up in Orbec, Normandy and in Paris. Since he was thirteen years old his education was focused in the arts. His Grandfather Gabriel and his Uncle Jean where both photographers and artists, his Father Jacques was an interior designer and is now a painter, and his Mother Françoise was a professional musician and opera star in the Paris Opéra. A family of creative fellows; his art education began with his family, who taught him the ropes. He photographed and drew his family, being was fascinated by faces and expressions. He knew and was influenced by the famous French figurative painter Pierre Laffille, his grandparent’s neighbor.By the end of 1968, encouraged by his uncle and grandfather (who died this same year), he left his hometowns of Orbec and Paris to step onto the road and discover the world. He became one of the very rare intrepid travelers.  He then obtained a Masters Degree in History of East Indian Civilization at the University of Benares, India. Most noteworthy of his sculpture studies is when Pierre studied with famous Thailand sculptors during the restoration of Bangkok’s two most important Buddhist temples, Wat Po and Phra Keo. I remember when I was in Bangkok I walked around the Wat Po and gawped with amazement at the temples. 

Pierre then went onto receive his Doctorate in Buddhist Philosophy at the University of Bangkok. He then decided to top it all off and spend a year living with the Dalai Lama and completed two books with him. What an accomplished inquisitive mind.

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