Rudi Junior – Contemporary Abstract Art

Rudi Junior- In the year 1995 and henceforth towards the millennia is a traveler through the philosophies of the contemporary arts. Nevertheless, he will not describe managing a life like the movie title “the unbearable lightness of being” as Rudi Junior is a person of utmost respect how people manage life with little and even less then little.

The following is an updated version of the Chiang Mai News appearance two decades ago.

Despite the immediate thoughts of the American anglophiles, this week’s personality will never become Ruediger Senior. Junior is the surname of a man with a colorful past, an undoubted colorful future, and one who produces 60-70 colorful contemporary abstract paintings every year. In some ways an enigma, Ruediger Junior (“most people call me Rudi”) is an interesting ex-pat here in Chiang Mai, admitting that he has discovered that he is made up of different personalities, all co-existing within one body.

Exhibition in Chiang Mai

Rudi was born in Algiers, the capital of Algeria, but he is German not Algerian, his German father and German mother being diplomats stationed in Algeria when he was born. As I pointed out to Rudi, if you are born in a stable, it does not make you a horse!

Rudi Junior – Art- which looks great on every wall

When he was three years old, the family returned to Germany, his parents to leave the diplomatic corps and his father to set up in business for himself. Rudi Junior went to the local schools but did not display an academic prowess. “I was very, very average,” said Rudi, “Sports and arts were the only things I was interested in.”

A decision to keep it going

When it was time to finish school and look seriously at a career, the first of Rudi’s personal hurdles appeared. His father wanted him to go into business, but this did not attract Rudi in any way. “My main interest was always art and music – all the things you can’t make money with,” said Rudi with a laugh. A compromise was reached, and it was decided that the hotel industry should be his future direction.

To that end, he enrolled in a five-year study-program at a famous Swiss Hotel School in Lucerne. There he found that he enjoyed the practical aspect of the training, putting the didactic classroom lessons into play. “I like the close contact with the guests. Building bridges between people and cultures.”

By the time he had finished four years of the course he was ready for the hospitality world outside. He had already been working in Italy and France to learn the languages, and he had itchy feet. “I didn’t do the last 12 months. Already being paid too much, so I lost interest,” said Rudi.

The job that was “paying too much” was in Munich, but now being a free agent, Rudi was interested in seeing more of the world. The opportunity to do just that came from a most unlikely source – his father! Junior (Senior!) bought a restaurant in Chiang Mai and needed a manager to run it. In retrospect, Rudi feels that this was an attempt by his father for the pair of them to have something together, as they did not do much together while he was growing up.

He ran the five-storey-restaurant here for five years, but it was difficult and probably did not have the personal outcome that either of them wanted. Rudi explained it simply as, “Two stubborn Germans!”

Rudi Junior 1995


Now 1995, Rudi produces lots of his own abstract paintings and so he decides to open an art gallery to display and hopefully sell these. “I paint 60 to 70 paintings in a year. When I start, I cannot stop. They are abstracts with a cosmic background and Thai temple art patterns running through them like a mantra,” said Rudi attempting to explain his art. “My own development was proceeding, but the money wasn’t there,” said Rudi, and after a couple of years he bundled up his paintings to go on a world selling trip to Europe and the USA. This was successful and he returned to Chiang Mai to open a small business here with a Thai partner.

Remember that Rudi’s all-consuming passions had been art and music, so this stage in his life should have been ideal. It was 1997 and he opened the Sax Music Pub. “I wanted a contemporary mix of music and art. I wanted a different clientele that could appreciate my art, which I exposed as a revolving exhibition.”

Rudi’s involvement in this venture was much more than decor for the walls, as he is also a musician (another one of Rudi’s personalities). Despite no formal training, he plays saxophone, bass, drums, guitar and keyboards. “Giving me a musical instrument is like opening up Pandora’s box,” said Rudi, in explanation.

Rudi Junior in your living room just for starters

But there are even more “Rudi’s” packed into that one body. There is Rudi the writer, who following help from a clairvoyant Diana Manilova has found that he can be used for ‘channeling’ to receive messages from others, which Rudi regards as ‘teachers’. “They are teaching us, trying to get us going in the right direction.”

To help keep himself going in that right direction, Rudi practices meditation and completes two hours of yoga every morning, “My spiritual work-out,” says Rudi.

However, he does have pursuits, which are not strictly spiritual. Enduro is one, but Rudi might argue that this is not spiritual as well. To ride is finding the line on track what leaves you unharmed would be an important requisite when going on a motorcycle through the jungle of the Northern districts in Thailand.

Life is teaching you something, when you are listening closely

As far as any long-term aims are concerned, he admitted to one only – hoping, that one day he might have an audience with the Dalai Lama. He explained this apparent lack of ‘need’ to fulfil aims saying, “What you don’t achieve this lifetime, you can do in the next.”

However, he does have an immediate desire to return to the hotel industry and manage a small hotel in Chiang Mai. “I love this country for so many different reasons – the nature and the people who have taught me how to feel about myself, the life and that all is connected somehow.” I have found out, that I have several different personalities. They all must live inside myself. We have lived before and they are all joined together in one body – and that is me!”

Thank you, Rudi, for your very frank and revealing hour of your time. I am sure, that you and your different personalities will join in harmony while living in this calming environment called Chiang Mai.

Do not miss it

You like what you see

The paintings are also available for purchase. Please contact Rudi to receive details on availability and pricing.

Or send us a message on this page to establish contact with Rudi.

Rudi Junior contemporary art Chiang Mai 2001
The poster ad for the exhibition