Born in 1957, John Tun Sein received his Diploma in Painting from the Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai, in 1985. Following his graduation, Sein received a Lalit Kala Akademi Research Grant Scholarship in 1988-89.
Speaking about his work in his essay "The Painter and the Path", fellow artist Prabhakar Kolte notes that "John Tun Sein is an artist who has never been in a hurry for anything in his life or his profession, patiently traveling to and fro between his creativity and solitude. He places his paintings in a way that would navigate us on the same journey. His works reflect evidence of his meditative accomplishments through painterly solitude. This is completely disclosed in his canvas for true appreciation by the viewer as well as the critic."
Kolte continues, "I call him ‘Little Buddha’ – a believer in non-violence, calmness and quietness, sympathy and love that guide him to discover what goes unnoticed in human life. The tranquility is his default and painting an innate desire. His incredible consistency projects a larger symphony interwoven with forms and cordial colours for the eyes to listen. An experimentalist by nature, he shows acute concern for the intangible aspects of contemporary sensibilities remolding them into sensory colour fields; thus surfing on a wave and emerging out of several complimentary forces of form and formlessness. For John Tun Sein, the canvas is the gravitational centre of his life. Though he paints introvertedly, what reflects in his work is the silent participation of everything that exists around; the air that keeps moving in and out or the light that changes the tonal qualities of the atmosphere within and without. They all mark their impression on him and his artistic act. He believes in ‘expanding totality’ that begins in his personal perception and grows out to enhance itself in the outer world through his works. Therefore, there are no definite signs, symbols or clues, not even the slightest indications or suggestions in his expressionistic paintings. Instead it is just a magnetic visual that needs to be felt by the viewer on his own."
Sein's work has been featured in several solo exhibitions including those at Apparao Galleries, Chennai, in 2010; Gallery Art Motif, New Delhi, and Aicon Gallery, Palo Alto, in 2007; SWR, Heinrich/Stroebel-Haus, Baden-Baden, in 2005; Galerie Mueller and Plate, Munich, in 2000; and Pundole Art Gallery, Bombay, in 1999. He has also participated in several group exhibitions in India, Germany, Belgium, Poland, the UK and France.