BTS leader RM donates $84,000 to South Korea’s national museum for art campaign to mark his 26th birthday

KATHMANDU: Rap Monster, the leader of K-pop superband BTS, has donated 100 million won ($84,000) to the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) Foundation, Korea to support the printing of rare and out-of-print art books.

Quoting MMCA, The Korea Times reports that RM donated the money on the occasion of his 26th birthday (27 in Korean years), and it will be used to print and reissue books on Korean modern and contemporary art and distribute them to about 400 public libraries and schools throughout the country.

It goes on to state that the books printed with support from RM are catalogues of seven Korean artistes namely Kim Whan-ki, Lee Jung-seob, Varlen Pen, Yoo Young-kuk, Park Nae-hyeon, Yun Hyong-keun and Lee Seung-jio as well as exhibition catalogues, ‘Birth of the Modern Art Museum: Art and Architecture of MMCA Deoksugung’ and ‘The Modern and Contemporary Korean Calligraphy’.

MMCA Director Youn Bum-mo was pleasantly surprised when RM expressed his wish to encourage young people to read art books and nurture their artistic sensibilities through reading as he also received inspiration and spiritual comfort from art, according to The Korea Times.

"We appreciate RM's positive influence in the art field as he visits museums despite his busy schedule, and will do our best with him to encourage a culture of reading art books," Youn was quoted as saying in a statement.

Incidentally RM had visited both the aforementioned exhibitions on Korea's modern art in 2018 and 2020, respectively, as well as other exhibitions at the state-run museum including avant-garde artist Lee Seung-jio's retrospective ‘Advancing Columns’ in August.

RM is a well-known art aficionado and visits art museums and galleries regularly amid busy international tours and promotional schedules.

Meanwhile, on the music front his band BTS became the first Korean group to debut at No 1 on Billboard's main Hot 100 singles chart with their disco-pop ‘Dynamite’ in August and has remained in the top position for a second consecutive week.

Dynamite at 350 million views, and counting

And Soompi reports that the ‘Dynamite’ music video, which was released via YouTube on August 21 at 1:00 pm KST, reached 350 million views on September 14 at approximately 10:50 am KST, which is about 23 days and 22 hours since its release.

The portal adds that this breaks the previous Korean group music video record for 350 million views, which was previously set by BLACKPINK’s ‘How You Like That’ in about one month and one day.