BTS has taken over most of the planet by now, but they’re yet to take over one part: the art world.
But that’s about to change, as the K-pop superstars have launched a new global art project called Connect, BTS – a series of large-scale art projects in five cities, on four continents, with 22 artists.
The best bit? You can watch some of it online.
Announced by video-link from Seoul on Tuesday, the seven members of BTS explained the project as a means to connect with people across continents, like the band’s music has. According to the BBC, the project is being curated by Korean artist Daehyung Lee, who reiterated to the news outlet the aim to connect with people of “different cultural backgrounds, social classes, ethnicities, genders and identities,” across the five cities.
The project will come to spaces in London, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Seoul, and New York over the first few months of 2020.
The group had been teasing the launch of the project for days with ambiguous tweets:
Before you get too excited, BTS doesn’t actually feature in the artworks themselves. And only some of the works are overtly BTS-themed.
“This project aims to redefine the relationships between art and music, the material and immaterial, artists and their audiences, artists and artists, theory and practice,” reads the undeniably vague statement on the project’s website. “Connect, BTS may be described in terms of a collective curatorial practice by curators around the world who resonated with BTS’ philosophy.”
First stop, London, with a work calledCatharsis, launched on Tuesday.It’s a video artwork by Danish artist Jakob Kudsk Steensen and American sound artist Matt McCorkle, and is made up of one continuous shot that moves through a “virtual forest” constructed of footage gathered from several North American forests. You can watch it right now on the website, , powered by Twitch. If you want to see it in person, it’s coming to London’s Serpentine Gallery from Jan. 28.
Exactly what a forest has to do with BTS? Perhaps you can tell us.
Other works will include a “drawing in space” on New York’s Brooklyn Bridge by sculptor Sir Antony Gormley using 16 kilometres (9.9 miles) of aluminium tubing, and a performance art program with 17 artists in Berlin.
In Seoul, on the walls of the Dongdaemun Plaza, you’ll find the most blatant connection to BTS with Korean artist Yiyun Kang’s video projectionBeyond The Scene, which has been described as a “re-imagining of BTS’ signature dance movements.”
In Buenos Aires, Argentinian artist Tomás Saraceno will conduct a world record attempt to lift a human into the sky using a balloon, according to the BBC, which will be “powered only by the sun and the air we breathe, without fossil fuels, solar panels, batteries or helium.” Saraceno told the news outlet that he was separately going to fly a self-powered balloon made of plastic bags from London to Seoul, which BTS fans will be encouraged to track online and “help out” if the balloon gets tangled or caught.
Need something BTS-themed to take your mind off things while you’re waiting for all the art? Play the mobile game. Art in itself.