After BTS announced the group's break, members have been enjoying their solo time in a variety of ways. RM, for example, has continued to visit different museums and galleries, encouraging thousands of fans to do the same.
The Art-Loving Leader of BTS
BTS's leader, RM, has enjoyed art for a long time. More recently, though, he started posting about his passion on his Instagram account, sharing his favorite exhibits and institutions. And fans are noticing! After RM posted about an exhibit in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts focusing on the Canadian American painter Phillip Guston to his 35.6 million followers, the museum saw a surge in visitors.
In South Korea, the rapper's unconditional love for art has also made an impact. Previously, he lent a sculpture by artist Kwon Jin-Kyu to the Seoul Museum of Art, transforming the exhibition into one of the most popular at the museum. “There are a lot of art exhibitions being held these days and they can be divided into two broad categories: The ones RM went to and the ones RM didn't go to,” Yang Jeong-mu, a Western Art History professor at the Korean National University of the Arts told Korean radio station SBS Power FM.
RM’s Impressive Influence
Now that RM is traveling more in his free time, art lovers in the U.S. are catching on. For example, RM posted a picture of himself at the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas. Since then, a lot of BTS fans have taken photos there. In December, the musician also visited the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas, and the Skarstedt Gallery in New York City. And the influence he has had on those places is clear. When the Chinati Foundation thanked RM for visiting in a post, it generated over 92,000 likes. The National Gallery of Art also retweeted his visit, garnering almost 12,000 retweets and 40,000 likes, the most the gallery had ever received. Within 24 hours of RM posting about visiting the National Gallery, it got nearly three times the number of followers it would have on an average day, according to Anabeth Guthrie, the National Gallery’s chief of communications. But the most shocking part is that the singer didn’t even tag the National Gallery's official account!
While RM has also shared a lot of documentation from concerts, celebrity meet-ups, and simple selfies on Instagram, art has remained his main focus. His page became “a place where I can casually share my taste and life off stage that people could relate to," RM commented. Even the name "rkive," aka archive, connects back art. “As an art enthusiast and a collector who loves art, I read and study a lot hoping to grow special insights and better discerning eyes … ” RM told ARTnews.
All in all, art is one of the most important parts of RM’s life. “Visual art is a different field and because I can purely enjoy them without any strings attached, the feeling becomes more vivid,” he said. “This is my first time actually saying this but seriously, I am planning to make a small space of my own private collection and then just make a cafe on the first floor and set up my collections on the second floor and third floor.” If the global K-pop superstar follows through his dream, it's clear that RM's influence will make it one of the most popular exhibits in Korea!