K-Pop group BTS help present Korean government giveaway to Metropolitan Museum
Monday has been a busy day for K-Pop superstars BTS. This morning, the Korean boy band, newly named “Special Presidential Envoy for Future Generations and Culture” by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, appeared with the leader at the 76th session of the General Assembly of Nations. United in New York and spoke to the power of today’s younger generations to create a more positive and healthy world. And in the evening, they joined the country’s First Lady, Kim Jung-sook, classically trained singer and Minister of Culture Hwang Hee at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to present a gift from the South Korean government of lacquer vessels from Chung Haecho.
“The eyes of the world are on Korean culture – Korean dramas, Korean films, Korean music – but there are still a lot of great Korean artists who have yet to be discovered by the world,” Kim Nam-joon said. , head of BTS, at a bilingual reception. on the Met’s rooftop garden, under Alex Da Corte’s swinging Big Bird sculpture, which he said he “very” liked. Kim added that in their new post as Special Envoy, BTS felt “a special sense of pride” in being able to support the work of other artists in their country, and are armed with the mission “of trying to spread Korean culture. across the world and to everyone in the world ”.
The gift of five vases of rich colors, Rhythm of the five-color chandelier (2013), based on cardinal directions and five elements of East Asian cosmology, will be included in the Met’s first exhibition dedicated to the art form, Shell and Resin: Mother of Pearl and Korean Lacquer (December 13-July 5, 2022). The exhibition will present some thirty examples from the museum’s collection, from an extremely rare 12th century trilobed box from the Goryeo dynasty (918-1392) to a mixed media painting by contemporary artist Lee Bul.
The history and technical development of Korean lacquer, which traditionally features mother-of-pearl decorations encrusted with pigmented resin, will be examined in the exhibition, as well as the importance of the style across Asia, with examples from Chinese, Japanese and Ryukyu (Okinawa) lacquers and pearls from South Asia.
Rather than using mother-of-pearl, Chung’s focuses on Korean lacquer itself, called ottchil, experimenting with pigment recipes to create works admired for their depth of color and luster, according to the Met. The artist’s works are also in the collections of the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
“We are deeply grateful for this generous donation of contemporary lacquer vessels, a gesture that is especially meaningful as we look to 2023, when The Met will celebrate the 25th anniversary of our Arts of Korea gallery,” said the museum director. , Max Hollein. The museum is also currently seeking to staff his position as curator of Korean art with a challenge grant from the Korea Foundation, Hollein said, adding that he and some members of the curatorial team are planning to visit Korea in the spring. next.
This is not the first example of BTS exercising its “soft power” as cultural ambassadors. Last January, the successful group launched a series of five major public art projects, involving collaborations between some of the world’s most important artists and curators. Connect BTS took place in five cities from January to March 2020 – just before the coronavirus shut down much of the international art world – with each artist commission the result of a curator who “resonated with the philosophy of BTS ”.
In a statement at the time, BTS said that “Contemporary art and music are also two different worlds. This project is particularly important to us because it truly represents diversity and creates a collective and positive message for the world that we value. Through this project, we hope to return the great amount of love and support from our fans, the military and all audiences. “
The band appear to have made at least one new fan at the Met today. “Your big hit right now is ‘Permission to Dance’,” said Hollein during the presentation of the giveaways. “This is exactly what we need right now, what I hope will be the end of the pandemic. We need to dance more. Thank you for being here.”