BTS have become global patrons of contemporary art by funding a number of new installations, including a huge sculpture by Antony Gormley.
Today (January 14) saw the K-Pop group announce their involvement with the project, which will include ambitious works by various artists in London, Seoul, New York, Berlin and Buenos Aires.
According to organisers, ‘Connect, BTS’ will reflect the popular band’s own values while introducing contemporary art to a new and much wider audience.
During an announcement event at London’s Serpentine Gallery, BTS aired their support via video link. They explained that the project “represents diversity and creates a collective, positive message for the world that we value.”
They also shared their hopes of sending “a positive message to the world” and “[giving] back some of the amazing love that [the band] receive” from their huge global fanbase.
The project’s curator Daehyung Lee explained (via The Guardian): “We can connect with people at opposite ends of the world but we sometimes forget to communicate with our own neighbours or relatives. We are losing solidarity, we have forgotten how to communicate properly with each other.”
He added that “the ultimate goal of the project is to connect individuals across the world as they re-evaluate their present circumstances, attitudes and potentialities.”
— andrea ♡s bts⁷ (@blackxagustd) January 14, 2020
As the BBC report, Argentinian artist Tomás Saraceno hopes to fly a hot air balloon made of recycled plastic bags from London to Korea. It will make use of wind and solar power to complete the trip in nine days.
The BTS Army will be able to track the balloon on its journey, dubbed by Saraceno as a “K-hop”.
Thanks for the love @mrdiscopop! So excited to collab with global superstars BTS! But slight correction: the work on the left is Museo Aero Solar, an important part of our Aerocene history-Project K-Hop will be a different aerosolar sculpture flying LDN>Korea-more details soon! https://t.co/nnry883XQ1
— tomas saraceno (@tomassaraceno) January 14, 2020
"Danish artist Jakob Kudsk Steenson gestures during the announcement of his new work 'Catharsis' as an unseen monitor live-streams @BTS_twt at the launch of the global public art project #CONNECT_BTS at Serpentine Gallery in London on Jan 14, 2020."
He truly looks happy :') pic.twitter.com/0b3KEa2qGG
— cestlavie_90?⁷ (@cestlavie9090) January 14, 2020
BTS are the main funders of the project which consists of the work of 22 artists overall at shows across various cities in the coming months. In New York, Antony Gormley will create a new version of his Clearing installation – recently featured at London’s Royal Academy.
- READ MORE: BTS bring the ‘Love Yourself’ era to a close with powerful and moving homecoming show in Seoul
‘New York Clearing 2020’ will be an extension of this piece, and will be located at the city’s Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 3. Visitors will also be able to walk through the installation.
Danish artist Jakob Kudsk Steensen, meanwhile, will bring a forest simulation called ‘Catharsis‘ to the Serpentine as part of the initiative. This will be on show until March 15.
Elsewhere, the impact of air travel will be addressed by Argentinian artist Saraceno’s ‘Fly With Aerocene Pacha’ project. “Every time someone travels across the Atlantic by aeroplane another person’s lifespan is reduced by two years,” he explained.
You can find further information over at the ‘Connect, BTS’ official website.
This comes after BTS announced their new album ‘Map Of The Soul: 7’, and confirmed its first track. The record is due for release on February 21.