James was born in Penang in 1944. He has been based in London since 1966.
James obtained his art education from 1966 to 1968 at Sir John Cass School of Art, London. After that, he continued his study in Interior Design at Brixton School of Building, London (now known as London South Bank University). In 2002, he took life drawing classes at The Price of Wales Drawing Studio, London.
In 1995, James won Outstanding Newcomer Award by the Royal Watercolour Society (RWS), London. It was the first award for any Asian artist since the Society’s founding in 1804.
1959 | Second prize, Developing of North Malaya art competition, Penang
1969 | First prize, All London Logo competition, London
1969 | First prize, Ideal Home Exhibition art competition, London
1995 | Outstanding Newcomer Award, Royal Watercolour Society, London