Throughout history, art patronage refers to the financial support wealthier individuals have provided to painters, musicians, and sculptors. It has remained a crucial part of the artistic scene even to this day.
Joining the art world as patrons, in January 2020, pop supergroup BTS launched their latest project under the name of CONNECT, BTS. An initiative that, as its name states, aims to connect twenty-two artists of different mediums in an effort to blur the preexisting boundaries in art and its different disciplines.
This project encompasses five cities: London, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Seoul, and New York. Each city will showcase an unique exhibitions.
Various international curators were carefully chosen to work on the technical aspects of CONNECT, BTS. The project is being led by art director Daehyun Lee, who also serves on the jury of the Ars Electronica Festival's STARTS Prize and was previously part of the Hyundai Motor Company.
The project launched in London on January 14, starting with the piece Catharsis by Danish artist Jakob Kudsk Steensen; a stunning digital simulation of an old-growth forest that will run in the Serpentine Galleries and online through the official website catharsis.live until March 6.
BTS did not stop at the conventional definition of art when choosing the objects of their patronage. The exhibition in Berlin showcased Rituals of Care, a carefully curated series of performances by more than thirteen artists and curated by Stephanie Rosenthal and Noémie Solomon.
For their Seoul showcase, BTS partnered with Yiyun Kang. The exhibition titled Beyond The Scene pays homage not only to the group’s international name but also to their dance movements through moving images. They also partnered with British artist Ann Veronica Janssens to bring a sensory experience through light, space, and color.
With New York coming up, many are eagerly waiting to see what this exhibition has to offer. The alleged involvement of known British sculptor Anthony Gormley is perhaps the most talked-about teaser. Fans both of the band and the artist himself cannot wait for what the creator of pieces such as the Angel of the North and Quantum Cloud has prepared for a project of such huge scale.
Entrance to the exhibitions is completely free, with all costs covered by BTS in what many are considering an effort to further spread art education while uniting ARMYs and non-fans alike through the world of art.
For more information on the project and the different exhibitions — as well as access the band's personal interviews with the artists — go to the official website, connect-bts.com
What do you think about BTS's foray into visual art? Would you be attending any of the exhibitions? Let us know in the comments below!
Cover Image: BTS (BigHit Entertainment)
Written by Vale Papili