K-pop band launches worldwide art project | Culture| Arts, music and lifestyle reporting from Germany | DW | 17.01.2020
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K-pop band launches worldwide art project

Love yourself and stay positive: that is the message of BTS — and people all over the world love them for it. Now the K-pop band focuses on the link between music and art. Berlin's Gropius Bau is one of their venues.

Precise choreography, elaborate costumes: The seven-member Korean band BTS feels at home in music ranging from hip-hop to rock and pop ballads.

With "Connect, BTS" the wildly popular K-pop band now wants to spread their message of positivity even further. They are off to public installations in international cultural institutions including Berlin's Martin Gropius Bau, London's Serpentine Gallery and exhibition venues in Buenos Aires, New York, and Seoul.

Art and music come together because it "unites us in our differences and creates a common, positive message," says the BTS website, where fans also find videos of the band on several artworks.

"Connect, BTS" presents works by British sculptor Antony Gormley, Argentinian performance artist Tomas Saraceno, British lighting designer Ann Veronica Janssens, Danish installation artist Jakob Kudsk Steensen and Korean video artist Yiyun Kang, among others.

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Pressebilder Rituals of Care im Gropius Bau | Candomblé-Ritual im Ilê Obá Sileké (Ilê Obá Sileké & Forum Brasil e. V./Nico Beradi)

The Brazilian religious Candomble ritual is performed in the framework of "Connect, BTS" at Berlin's Gropius Bau

Bangtan Boys have a huge fan base

Gropius Bau director Stephanie Rosenthal is part of the international team of curators that developed the global art project. "Connect, BTS" brings together a series of 17 art performances, including experimental choreographies and sound installations, at the Berlin exhibition entitled "Rituals of Care" until February 2. They revolve around themes including healing, rituals and coming together. The artists include Jelili Atiku, boychild, Cevdet Erek, Marcelo Evelin and Maria Hassabi.

Since 2013, BTS, also known the Bangtan Boys, have won the hearts of a huge community of usually young fans. They have also received awards for their social commitment.

In 2019, Time magazine listed BTS among the 100 most influential people, Rolling Stone wrote about them conquering the West. The contemporary artists and art projects offer "diverse answers to the world in which we live," says "Connect, BTS" artistic director Daehyung Lee.

BTS is short for Bangtan Sonyeondan ("bulletproof scouts"). It was the first K-Pop group to make it to the top of the charts in the US and Britain. The hype has meanwhile spread to Germany. Two BTS concerts in Berlin's Mercedes-Benz Arena in 2018 were sold out in a few minutes.

Their song "Boy With Luv" with US singer Halsey was the first video to be viewed 100 million times in less than two days on YouTube.

Watch video 01:53

The Bangtan Boys take Berlin

sd/db (with dpa)

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