Thomas Luechinger

Tho­mas Lue­chin­ger was born into a four child­ren fami­ly in the Rhein­tal of St. Gal­len in 1953. His father was a muni­ci­pa­li­ty employee and high­ly com­mit­ted to the public weal. In his youth alre­a­dy, Tho­mas Lue­chin­ger had the ambi­ti­on and per­sis­tence in beco­ming an artist, his atten­ti­on being attrac­ted by pain­ting and film making. He first beca­me a tea­cher, befo­re he ente­red the Lucer­ne School of Art, whe­re he was trai­ned to beco­me an ins­truc­tor for art clas­ses. Aged bare­ly 23, he was ack­now­led­ged for his artis­tic work with a fede­ral art scho­lar­ship. Sub­se­quent­ly, he pre­sen­ted his works in Switz­er­land and for­eign count­ries and was award­ed with seve­ral scho­lar­ships and pri­zes by the can­tons of Lucer­ne, St. Gal­len and Zurich. Through an ate­lier scho­lar­ship by the city of Zurich he was given the oppor­tu­ni­ty of a one-year stay in New York, which had a decisi­ve impact on his life. During this peri­od, his sis­ter died in a car acci­dent.

Back from the USA, he got inte­res­ted in Zen and rea­li­zed his long­stan­ding wish to pro­du­ce films. Wit­hout any fun­ding by cul­tu­ral aut­ho­ri­ties he accom­pa­nied Viet­na­me­se Zen mas­ter Thich Nhat Hanh with his came­ra through India. The resul­ting film STEPS OF MINDFULNESS – A JOURNEY WITH THICH NHAT HANH was a huge suc­cess among Swiss and for­eign audi­en­ces. Sin­ce then, Lue­chin­ger has work­ed as a film direc­tor as well as an ins­truc­tor. He has rea­li­zed seve­ral fea­ture docu­men­ta­ry films for the cine­ma as well as in copro­duc­tion with tele­vi­si­on sta­ti­ons. Bes­i­des, he has published spe­cia­list books, of which some have been trans­la­ted into other lan­guages.

Tog­e­ther with his fami­ly, Lue­chin­ger lives in a for­mer farmer’s house on the hills of Appen­zell. His film AGNES MARTIN – ON A CLEAR DAY was pre­sen­ted in the inter­na­tio­nal com­pe­ti­ti­on of the Toron­to Film Fes­ti­val. During the sum­mer of 2015, the film was scree­ned at the Tate Modern Lon­don in line with the Agnes Mar­tin retro­s­pec­ti­ve. Lue­chin­ger is an auto­di­dact film maker but has par­ti­ci­pa­ted in seve­ral cour­ses at FOCAL over the last 20 years.