Korean pop superstar BTS helped launch a global public art project in London on Tuesday inspired by the group’s message of inclusivity and involving renowned artists including Antony Gormley and Tomas Saraceno.
The K-pop septet has teamed up with an array of artistic talent from around the world to help forge a series of contemporary exhibits going on display in five cities across four continents.
The project—“Connect, BTS”—used the boy band’s support for “diversity, love, and care for the periphery” as the starting point for the series of disparate multi-disciplinary artworks.
They will be complemented by video messages introducing the piece recorded by BTS.
“We’re very excited and really happy to be part of this project,” said band member RM—real name Kim Namjoon—at a launch event at London’s Serpentine Galleries, where one of the exhibits was unveiled.
“We have always been inspired by the ability of music to communicate across borders and barriers which is not very different from what art does,” added bandmate Suga, as they joined via live video-link from the South Korean capital Seoul.
BTS, the first K-pop group to top charts in the US and Britain, has seen its global profile surge in recent years.
They completed a lucrative world tour in 2019 before performing in New York’s Times Square on New Year’s Eve.
The floppy-haired musicians, all in their 20s and often sporting earrings and lipstick, have built a predominantly youthful fan base on a message of self-acceptance and tolerance.
The curators of “Connect, BTS” hope to tap into their huge online profile and tens of millions of followers on social media sites like Instagram and Twitter.
“This project will encourage appreciation of diversities and establish ground for great new synergies to be born,” said its art director Daehyung Lee.
The various artworks will go on show in the Korean and British capitals, as well as in Berlin, Buenos Aires, and New York.
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