If you’ve never heard of Korean pop sensation BTS, you’ve been living under a rock. No, seriously — this group has taken the world by storm over the last few years. You might have seen their performance at the Grammy’s a few weeks ago, or heard their name in the news as being the first K-Pop group to have a platinum record in the US. Don’t even bother typing them into Google, because you’ll be too overwhelmed by links to music videos, memes, merchandise, and especially fan (well, cult) accounts. These guys are giving Beatles fans a run for their money.
So, what’s the deal with their involvement in an art installation in Brooklyn? Could this story get any more random?
Let’s back up to something you may not have known if you’re not a total BTS stan. Last month the K-Pop group launched a global art project called ‘Connect, BTS’. According to their website, Connect, BTS features the work of 22 artists over 5 cities and aims to ‘redefine the relationships between art and music, material and immaterial, artists and their audiences, artists and artists, theory and practice.’ Exhibition unveilings have been spotted in London, Seoul, and Buenos Aires.
This brings us to Brooklyn, where they have unveiled their final leg of their project. This features a piece from a British artist by the name of Sir Antony Gormley. If you’re in the area and interested in checking it out, it’s at Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 3. If you really can’t be bothered, here’s the picture of it
It doesn’t matter what you thought the piece of art would look like, it’s unlikely that this would have been what you were expecting. K-Pop fan or not, a bunch of metal circles welded together really make a person question what this could possibly have to do with BTS or their music.
I suppose that’s the point of this piece, and the project as a whole—art is sometimes less about visuals, and more about encouraging inspiration. In a letter inviting Gormley to take part in the project, BTS explained ‘understanding the artwork itself as an open space that is completed by the presence and participation of its viewers is an idea that is familiar to us,’ explaining that their fanbase is a crucial part of their performance as an art form.
If you’re looking for that spark of inspiration but can’t get it through your computer screen, their ‘New York Clearing’ will be on display until the 27th of March. BTS probably won’t be there, though.