West Meets East, The Pataphysical Paintings of James K-M & Synn Kune Loh

Pataphysics is the science of that which is superimposed upon metaphysics, whether within or beyond the latter’s limitations, extending as far beyond metaphysics as the latter extends beyond physics.
Alfred Jarry
1873 – 1907
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Click here for the online catalogue of the exhibition







At the Josef & Anni Albers Foundation, Bethany, Connecticut
June 26, 2012 – August 1, 2012

Doorkeeper #1 – #10
spray paint on 2″ x 2″ wood
40″ x 30″ x 1.5″ each

acrylic and stain on plywood, 24″ x 24″, 2012

Recent Paintings by James K-M
September 9 – November 27, 2010
Opening Thursday, September 9, 6-8 PM

293 Columbia Street,
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6A 2R5

In the past several years, Vancouver’s public and independent galleries have worked to revive the abstract in art. Relatively new to the Vancouver art scene, the Gastown-located Baron Gallery has a New York sensibility with a strong appreciation of abstract painting and its history.

“James K-M’s paintings not only evoke the history of abstract painting but point to a metaphysical interpretation,” says Baron. “I’m particularly happy to be presenting over 35 paintings of James’ recent work over the past two years that have not been previously exhibited.”

For the last 30 years K-M has worked with geometric, hard edge, colourist and Kabbalistic abstraction. The paintings in this exhibition are all square, 24″ x 24″, stain and acrylic on plywood.

“I see my paintings as contemporary pictographs and abstract icons of energetic fields,” he says. “Like many artists, my paintings are made in isolation and I am very happy for the opportunity to share so many of my recent paintings together at Baron Gallery.”

James K-M’s most recent painting exhibitions were at the Simon Fraser University Teck Gallery (2008) and at the Council Of Fine Arts Gallery in Camagüey, Cuba (2009/10). Both exhibitions featured catalogue essays on K-M’s work.


  • Artist talk: Where Does Art Come From?, Sat., Sept. 18th, 2 – 4 pm
    Art comes from the primal, carries paradox and gestures beyond itself. I will show examples of paintings I made starting in 1977 while still a student. I recall the sensation of these paintings, in a way, making themselves. This began a conscious relationship with a primal force, seemingly outside myself, that I have honoured ever since. I do not believe that there can be any art that doesn’t come from this relationship. Real art cannot ultimately be about anything else. To summarize differently, art is the convergence of profound metaphysics with profound materialism, that is, the meeting of the primal relationship with the inherent language of our materials. Yes, this is a paradox and one of many that art carries. In the end, I see my paintings as contemporary pictographs and abstract icons of energetic fields, which means that they are about and point to something beyond themselves, to an abstract non-rational language beyond mind.
  • Artist talk: The Contemporary Pictograph, Sat., Nov. 13th, 2 – 4 pm
    In his 2nd artist talk for the exhibition COLOURING James K-M will focus on his current work and its relationship to primal and Kabbalist forces that sustain creative life. He will relate his current work to the notion of an art after-the-fact, and working backwards through his past work, show how his paintings are contemporary pictographs and abstract icons of energetic fields.

293 Columbia Street,
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6A 2R5

Group Exhibition of Contemporary Art
Featuring Vincent Dumoulin, James K-M, PEETA, Greg Swales
May 29th – July 24th, 2010

“In my paintings, cross-cultural appropriation can allude to Native beadwork, old floor tiling, post New York school abstraction or minimalism, a board game without pieces (since the work moves without them), a Navaho blanket, or Aztec or Mayan sacred geometry. These aspects represent appropriated traditions that don’t usually coexist and a collision of cultures that are somehow resonant with each other. These are metaphysical appropriations beyond the gestural and ironic and collide to reveal a sentient conscious unknown. Yet my work remains within the realm of Western abstract painting, constrained by a square piece of plywood (24″ x 24″), interacting with its stained grainy surface, superimposed by a contemporary abstract figure.”
– James K-M, 2010

Newman Ruminals (Yellow, Sienna, Black, Red, Blue)
Stain and acrylic on plywood
24″ x 24″ each, 2008 (Titles by Jasa Baka)
(Order changed during show to: Sienna, Black, Red, Blue, Yellow)






The mural by Vancouver artist James K-M is entitled Free Rain and is 16 ft. x 16 ft. It was unveiled on July 19, 2009 in Edmonton, Alberta, at 9206 95th Avenue (west wall). It was commissioned by Joe Clare, Edmonton realtor,  patron of the arts and humanity.
Please visit the project web site at

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