How BTS’s RM Found His Passion For Visual Art

He didn’t like museums when he was young.

BTS‘s RM has become renowned for his art patronage, inspiring many fans to visit the museums and galleries he’s been to, such as the Chinati Foundation, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Menil Collection, and the National Gallery of Art.

The New York Times recently published an article explaining that RM has become essential to the art scene because his platform allows art to become more palatable to a wide range of audiences.

[RM’s] global influence has almost unfathomable reach… For the insular, impenetrable world [of art], he may be a dream ambassador.

The New York Times

RM | The New York Times

RM has been vocal about the comfort and solace he finds in art museums, expressing to Vogue Korea that he feels comfortable being “honest about [his] emotions” when viewing art.

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.

— RM

| The New York Times

The “longevity of painters” is also something that the idol feels inspired by since RM can so easily relate to the arduous demands of making a living through art.

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.

— RM

| @rkive/Instagram

RM’s own art collection especially comforts him, as looking at the art inspires him to “want to be a better person.

‘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.’ 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

| @rkive/Instagram

RM had opened up in the past about taking time to visit different galleries and museums when BTS was working abroad.

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

— RM

| @rkive/Instagram

But in The New York Times article, RM revealed that he found his passion for visual art through “serendipity, more of an accidental encounter.” Although he was exposed to art as a young child, it wasn’t until 2018, when RM decided to explore the Art Institute of Chicago, that RM was able to appreciate what art galleries had to offer.

He grew up near Seoul, and his parents ‘did take me to museums, but I don’t think I enjoyed it that much,’ he said. Sitting in his hotel room while on tour in 2018, deciding what to do during some downtime, RM opted to venture to the Art Institute of Chicago. Paintings by Seurat and Monet captivated him.

— RM via The New York Times

| @rkive/Instagram

He had a physical reaction to paintings from artists like Seurat and Monet, as RM realized that he was finally seeing the original works of art he’d seen reproduced countless times.

‘It was almost like Stendhal syndrome,’ he said, referring to the condition whereby art induces physical symptoms in a viewer, like lightheadedness or a quickened heart rate. It was a shock to see works that he knew from reproductions in person. ‘It was like: wow. I was looking at these art pieces, and it was an amazing experience.’

— RM via The New York Times

| @rkive/Instagram

His newfound love of visual art encouraged RM to start studying again, for the first time since he was 17.

‘I quit my studying when I was 17 because of this BTS thing, because I was a trainee,’ he said, listing off all the practice that involved. ‘But after 10 years, I met art, and I started to read the books again — seriously.’

— RM via The New York Times

And now RM even dreams of possibly opening up his own public art exhibition.

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

Source: The New York Times

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