How BTS RM’s Art Collection Brings Him Comfort And Motivates Him To Be A Better Person

He revealed what art he is drawn to.

BTS‘s RM has become quite the art patron in recent years.


Whether on a world tour with BTS, on a personal vacation, or even taking a short break at home, RM always makes time to visit art museums and galleries. On Twitter and Instagram, RM has shared photos of various museums, such as Chinati Foundation, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Menil Collection, and the National Gallery of Art.


Last year, while speaking with Vogue Korea, RM explained why he so frequently visits galleries and museums.

When we went abroad, we stayed in our hotel rooms except when we were working. The only places I could go then were museums.

I think the fact that painting is a totally different field makes it more enjoyable. When it comes to painting, I can be honest about my emotions. When it comes to music, it’s hard if you let yourself get jealous because there are so many great musicians and new talents. Also, painters have really long careers. Some hold their first solo exhibitions at age 40, and some don’t sell a single painting until they’re 60. But I debuted at age 19, and I’m told I represent my country now at age 27, and people ask me what I’m going to do next. It’s like I’ve transcended where I’m supposed to be at this point in my life. That’s why I want to have the longevity of painters.

…When I visit an art gallery, time seems to stop, and I can reflect on myself.

— RM


Now, RM is not only a visitor to museums but an art collector.

I think that there’s something that I can offer as an outsider of the art industry.

— RM via The New York Times

“At top, collectible pieces by Bearbrick from RM’s collection.” | Dasom Han via The New York Times

RM is now featured in The New York Times in a piece titled “RM, Boy Band Superstar, Embraces New Role: Art Patron.”

RM has also been embracing the role of art supporter, loaning a terra cotta sculpture of a horse by the Korean artist Kwon Jin-kyu to a Seoul Museum of Art retrospective that ran until May, and in 2020 donating 100 million won (about $84,000 at the time) to the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) so that it could reissue out-of-print art books and distribute them to libraries. Arts Council Korea, a government-affiliated body, subsequently named him an Art Sponsor of the Year. ‘We are very happy that RM, who has a high global influence, is an art lover,’ the MMCA’s director, Youn Bummo, said in an email.

The New York Times

RM, the leader of the South Korean pop group BTS, at his recording studio in Seoul with an art collection including works by Park Soo Keun, Ugo Rondinone, Yun Hyong-keun, and Chang Ucchin.” | Dasom Han via The New York Times

In the interview, RM revealed his true feelings about art collecting. He tends to collect works of fellow Korean artists, “particularly of the generations that lived through the Korean War, military dictatorship and immense economic precarity.”

‘I was able to feel their kind of sweat and blood,’ RM said, relating to them as ‘human beings that were trying to present their artworks in the world.’

— RM via The New York Times

| Dasom Han via The New York Times

When asked to define his taste in art, RM revealed that he is drawn to art about “eternity, and that comes because of this fast and hectic aura from this K-pop industry.” 

| Dasom Han via The New York Times

So, RM’s art collection is a majority of great Korean deceased artists. Yet, it all brings the idol significant comfort.

I feel like they’re watching me. I’m motivated. I want to be a better person, a better adult, because there is this aura that is coming from these artworks on display.

— RM via The New York Times

| Dasom Han via The New York Times

In his solitude, RM seeks companionship through the artists via his collected pieces as he even converses with them.  He feels they help him be a “better person.”

When he is feeling ‘tired or let down, I sometimes stand there and have a conversation’ with them, he said. Standing in front of a spare painting by Yun, he might ask, ‘Mr. Yun, it’s going to be OK, right?’

— RM via The New York Times

| Dasom Han via The New York Times

RM hopes for others to experience the same feelings he has felt through art, too. So, he recently revealed plans to own his own public art exhibition. Read about it below.

BTS’s RM Spills On His Plans To Open His Own Public Art Exhibition

Source: The New York Times