On October 17, KST, Big Hit Music posted a notice stating that BTS have decided to enlist in the military for their mandatory service, starting with Jin this year. While fans were trying to get through the emotionally volatile situation through humor, RM‘s Instagram post added a comforting touch to the whole ordeal.
RM uploaded multiple pictures from his visit to a Kim Whanki exhibit at the S2A Gallery in Gangnam, with a simple caption that read, “Whanki.” Whanki is an artist he has adored for a long time now. The photos themselves were pretty usual of RM’s Instagram aesthetic, but when ARMYs looked up the background of the artwork he had posted, they started deciphering a deeper meaning of the post.
The paintings featured on RM’s post are all from a series called Where, in What Form, Shall We Meet Again? The series is named after a Korean poem, “In The Evening,” by Kim Gwang Seop, that talks about an intense longing between two entities.
Among a multitude of stars
One stares down at me.
Among a multitude of people
I stare up at that one star.
As the night grows deeper it fades into brightness
And I disappear into darkness.
Where, when, as what will the two of us
you, one so warm, & me, one so tender,
—Kim Gwang Seop
The fact that RM chose to make the post after the announcement of their enlistment hardly seemed like a coincidence to fans.
The longing feeling and promise to meet a friend, separated due to governmental pressure (just a theory, may not be Joon's intent).
The poem was also quite reminiscent of Mikrokosmos to me. We are stars that saw each other and our lights will shine brighter even in deepest night pic.twitter.com/VzmHRpPo2H
— Nabitia 🪖💍⁷|👨🚀🌖 (@nabitia_) October 17, 2022
One specific picture especially stood out to ARMYs, where RM is seen posing in front of Whanki’s milestone work, titled “Universe.” The painting was created out of the artist’s longing for his homeland and its people after he had moved to New York.
namjoon sharing kim whanki's "05-IV-71 #200 (universe)", his largest painting to exist, full of longing for korea's stars during his last years spent in new york pic.twitter.com/ZR498KvAgW
— fawz⁷ (@agustranda) October 17, 2022
221017 rkive instagram
He posed in front of the most expensive Korean artwork auctioned. It is by Kim Whanki, sold at 13.2 billion won.
— RM Updates & Archive SEXYNUKIM 🖼🎵 (@LemonamuRM) October 17, 2022
The overall mood of his post seemed to convey a deliberate message to his fans, to the people he values so much as his own. The very fact that ARMYs went the extra mile to look up the artworks and try to decipher what he was probably trying to tell them only proves how successful BTS have been in establishing a solid connection with their fans—to a point where words are hardly needed for communication.