John was born in Chicago, USA of Singapore parents. He received his B.A. and M.A. in Asian Art History at the University of Michigan. After two years in Tokyo as an art journalist for the Japan Times, he moved to Taipei and established a gallery that specialized in Asian antiques, furniture, textiles, ceramics and jewelry.
During his 28 years as director of the gallery, he wrote many articles about Asian art for established art magazines in Hong Kong, Singapore and the US. He has also written a book on Chinese furniture, two books on yoga and one book on Asian cuisine. John has been invited to share his extensive knowledge of Asian art in New York, Minneapolis, Beijing, Singapore, Brunei, Bangkok, Taipei and Hong Kong and has organized exhibitions in Taipei, Hongkong, Bangkok, Singapore, Brunei and Malaysia.
John's first acquisition of Malay textiles was in 2014. It sparked his passion for collecting more and he soon became an avid collector travelling around Asia to build his collection. In order to devote his time to collecting and researching Malay textiles he moved to Malaysia in 2018. In 2019, John organized an exhibition on Malay kelingkam embroidery held at the Terengganu State Museum. Currently, John is working on an unprecedented major exhibition and catalogue on the 12 categories of Malay textiles entitled, "Splendors of Malay World Textiles". It will be held in Kuala Lumpur for three months from July 23rd to October 30th 2022.