LONDON — K-pop and contemporary art may seem like strange bedfellows, but as of late they have been getting more and more friendly. In 2016 the rapper T.O.P. from K-pop band BIGBANG guest-curated a Sotheby’s auction of Western and Asian contemporary art, which pulled in $17.4 million. And now the K-pop megaband BTS has launched a global public art project involving 22 contemporary artists across five international cities.
In 2019 BTS, which been dubbed the “biggest boy band in the world,” became the first band to ever spend five weeks at number one on the Billboard Artist 100 chart. The seven-member South Korean group has attracted a global fan base, nicknamed ARMY. Known for working cultural references into their tracks, the band members have now turned their hand to arts patronage. With their public art project, “Connect, BTS,” the pop stars are attempting to engage their fans with the work of international contemporary artists working in a range of mediums.
The “Connect, BTS” website describes the endeavor “in terms of a collective curatorial practice by curators around the world who resonated with BTS’ philosophy.” The five-part project was launched last week at London’s Serpentine Galleries. The London chapter, an immersive installation by Danish artist Jakob Kudsk Steensen, will be on display at the Serpentine until March 15 and can also be viewed online. Entitled Catharsis, the video takes visitors on a journey through an imaginary forest constructed by artist though 3-D scanning and audio sampling.
The day after the London launch, Gropius Bau in Berlin began Rituals of Care, a series of performances by 17 international artists including Jelili Atiku and boychild. The performances are centered around themes with particular contemporary urgency, including land and the Anthropocene, violence, and repair.
Over the coming weeks, “Connect, BTS” will also inaugurate projects in Buenos Aires, Seoul, and New York. For the New York commission, British sculptor Antony Gormley will construct an installation composed of 60 feet of aluminum tubing on a converted pier in Brooklyn Bridge Park. At the launch of the project at the Serpentine, Gormley described the initiative as a “very open-minded and generous gesture,” which would be able to engage a “whole new young audience.”
In a video call from Seoul during the launch, BTS member RM (Kim Namjoon) said: “We’re very excited and really happy to be part of this project. We’ve been hearing so much about how this world doesn’t need art, but we think this is a big challenge for all of us from different genres, we believe in the part of art that can help change the world.”
At the launch, members of the BTS ARMY swarmed the Serpentine, showing the band’s impressive pulling power. If the “Connect, BTS” project continues to enjoy such popularity, this may just be the beginning of a long love affair between K-pop and contemporary art.
Works by the Abeyta family of artists encourage thinking beyond activism and legislation as a means for political progress.
Despite faithfully recreating the story of the beloved comic book series, the TV show lacks the verve of the original.
The Brooklyn organization is now accepting new project inquiries for its fee-based fabrication services in printmaking, ceramics, and large-scale public art.
A video showing insects crawling inside a framed photograph by artists Bernd and Hilla Becher caused uproar, and disgust, online.
Actor Al Pacino is co-producing the upcoming movie about the tortured Italian artist.
The Newark Museum of Art Presents Jazz Greats: Classic Photographs from the Bank of America Collection
Photographers Antony Armstrong Jones, Milt Hinton, Chuck Stewart, Barbara Morgan, and more capture a breadth of legendary and local musicians and performance artists. On view through August 21.
Women at War exposes the struggles that women of Eastern Europe have been undergoing for the last 60 years, in addition to the annihilation of Ukrainian heritage.
Major publishing houses, and some authors, accuse the open access platform of “piracy” and copyright infringement.
Art and photographs, publications from the 19th and 20th centuries, manuscripts, posters and more are set to cross the auction block on August 18.
The Roman-era burial ground is located in Anazarbus (modern Anavarza) in the country’s southern Adana province.
Those with a Didion-shaped hole in their hearts can also bid for portraits of the author, her books, and other personal items.
The union seeks a minimum wage of $20 by the end of 2024; the museum offered only $16.