May 18, On This Day
When BTS got arty
Some three years ago on this day, aka May 18, 2018, hugely popular South Korean K-pop boy band BTS released its album “Love Yourself: Tear”, which sold a phenomenal 135,000 in its first week. But a lesser known factoid about this musical ensemble is its involvement in the world of art.
In early 2020, BTS funded and launched a series of free site-specific public art installations called Connect, BTS. The works involved at least 22 artists and spanned five cities, and the total cost of the project was estimated to be upwards of £10m, reported The Financial Times,.
In NYC, British sculptor Antony Gormley unveiled a vast 30-metre “drawing in space” called “New York Clearing”; in Seoul an installation by light artist Ann Veronica Janssens was in the offing; in London was “Catharsis”, an audiovisual recreation of a forest by Danish artist Jakob Kudsk Steensen; in Buenos Aires, Argentine Tomás Saraceno launched the wildly imaginative flying work, “Aerocene Pacha”; and in Berlin, a performance series “Rituals of Care” was curated by Stéphanie Rosenthal and Noémie Solomon.
Another art connect of the seven-member Bangtan Boys, is RM, one of their rappers, who has donated US$84,000 to Korea’s National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) Foundation to support the printing of rare and out-of-print art books.