Michael VanHartingsveldt first encountered Asian art and culture at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, when he was eleven years old. He was enamored with the fearsome beauty of Japanese samurai armor. Following his 2011 graduation from an English Language and Literature bachelor’s program at Redeemer University College, Michael moved to Gwangju, South Korea, to assume his role as an elementary school English teacher. He remained there for five years, using vacation time to backpack across Korea and neighboring Asian countries.
Michael returned to North American soil in August 2015 as a student of East Asian Art Business at a joint Master’s program offered by the Sotheby’s Institute of Art and Claremont Graduate University. He graduated with high honors in December 2016, having completed two thesis projects: The Mode Reincarnate, a curatorial proposal featuring Japanese contemporary artists who use traditional (read: 1000+ years old) techniques; and Implacable Beauty, an analysis of the Fudo Myoo sculpture at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).
Michael currently works as a Jr. Collections Management Technician at LACMA, where he specializes in East Asian art collections. He has delivered a five-part lecture series on ‘Deities in Japanese Art’ at the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles (JFLA); will do so on ‘Strange Buddhist Sculptures of Japan’ at the Terasaki Nibei Foundation; and is in conversation to add new sessions to the JFLA series, as well as restart the series at the Koyasan Betsuin in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles. He is a contributor to the website BuddhistDoor, a guest curator with the JFLA, and a Research Scholar at LACMA in addition to his paid role. Michael volunteers with various cultural institutions and endeavors to heighten the public’s understanding of Asian art through his efforts.
Contact Michael by phone (909-239-0280), by email (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com), or via Yujiro Seki.
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