How 'Connect BTS' is Redefining the Relationship between Music and Art

World renowned group BTS (방탄소년단) are currently in the process of dropping their brand new album ‘MAP OF THE SOUL: 7’. But during the build up to release, the band have begun something beyond the usual expectations of music that establishes them as something much more than the average band.If you know BTS, you know that their music is always more than just that. It is an expressive outlet for them and their fans that transcends the language barrier across Western and Eastern cultures. The introduction of ‘Connect BTS’ only further demonstrates the universal pull of their music and their messages.

It first began in London...  

Precisely, the Serpentine Gallery. A virtual reality art piece by Jakob Kudsk Steensen known as ‘Catharsis’ is now on display, welcome to anyone to experience for no charge. The seven men who make up BTS (RM, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, Jin, Jungkook, V) reached out to Steensen, asking him to be a part of the project and interviewing him about his piece (a recording of this is available on the Connect BTS website).According to the site, Steensen’s ‘Catharsis’ is a ‘digital simulation of a re-imagined old-growth forest’ that ‘offers audiences access to past and present natural environments’.

 

And it doesn’t stop there...

Art exhibits across the world are opening under Connect BTS. London, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Seoul and New York City will house contemporary exhibits from a collection of artists that BTS themselves believe ‘redefine the relationships between art and music’.

At its core, Connect BTS is about intertwining mediums of expression in various ways.

 

And this is just the beginning...

‘Rituals of Care,’ curated by Stephanie Rosenthal and Noémie Solomon, launched on the 15th of January in Berlin and is described as an ‘ongoing exploration of themes with particular contemporary urgency'. Again, Rosenthal was interviewed about the performance art by the whole band.Over the last few years, it has become clear that the group want to use their platform as an opportunity to convey ideas of collectiveness. This project allows us to hear the voices of others through their own respective choices of medium, much like BTS do themselves.

And overall, it is an excellent demonstration of BTS’ place in the artistic world. They want to do something more. Something that brings people from across the globe together underneath the umbrella of the beauty of their music and outstanding pieces of art that establish universal ideas of society, economy and more.

As Jin stated via video during the launch of ‘Catharsis,’ the project is about ‘respecting diversity’, which, as a Korean band who have been dominating the Western music industry, BTS know a lot about. They have endured the xenophobia of the Western industry, an industry that seems to only view them as equal and successful artists when they themselves can benefit from it.

And yet, BTS still continue to achieve the same, often more, success than their Western counterparts. They are aware that they don’t conform to Western expectations, but they are proud of that.So, for BTS and the artists involved, this is more than just a collection of exhibitions. This is about representing people, ideas and opinions through art and music in a way that brings people together. This entwining of music and art is a representation of what BTS want to see in the world: harmony.

And they bring it in much more than just their music.

Take a look at the Connect BTS project here.