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BTS’ RM hints at opening gallery for his art collection on Art Basel podcast

A still cut from a promotional video clip of an “Intersections: The Art Basel Podcast” episode with Kim Nam-joon, or RM from BTS. (Art Basel’s Instagram account)
A still cut from a promotional video clip of an “Intersections: The Art Basel Podcast” episode with Kim Nam-joon, or RM from BTS. (Art Basel’s Instagram account)


Art collector Kim Nam-joon, better known as RM from K-pop band BTS, hinted at opening a space to show his art collection in South Korea during an interview streamed on the Art Basel podcast.

“This is my first time actually saying this. But seriously, I am planning to make a small space of my own private collection,” Kim said in an English-language interview on “Intersections: The Art Basel Podcast” released on Tuesday. He was responding to a question about whether the public can expect to see a museum with his name someday.

“We cannot see great Korean artists because there are not many museums right now (in South Korea). There are not many galleries right now. I want to make my own sometime,” he said, adding that such a space could also include a cafe.

Kim is a well-known art collector and a powerful influencer in the art industry. His fans go on the “RM Tour,” visiting the museums and galleries that the musician frequents. His Instagram account is full of photos of artwork he has collected, as well as of the museums and galleries he has visited.

“I am so grateful to the fans,” he said. “Someday I wish I could share thoughts about art, and of course, my collection too.”

Kim talked about how his interest in art began in 2018 when he visited the Art Institute of Chicago in the US during a tour. He had a lot of spare time during the band’s global tour, most of which was spent in hotels because he is not a “club person,” he said.

“One day, I was like, ‘Is there some place I can go? Why not go to a museum?’ The first site was the Art Institute of Chicago. I saw (the) amazing paintings they got,” he said.

Kim’s first artwork purchase was a 1976 painting by Lee Dae-won (1921-2005), which he acquired at an auction, he said.

Collecting artwork inspires and encourages him; it’s inspiring to see works created by great artists throughout their whole lives, considering the traditional expiration date for a boy band star, he said.

“When I see them (the artworks), I can be brave, because I am 29 in Korea. In the world of boy bands, turning 30 is something different. That is really sad,” he said.

“It (my art collection) really gives me a standard by which to live as a better man and a better adult. I just want to make timeless music that I admire,” he added.

Presented by UBS, “Intersections: The Art Basel Podcast” brings together leading artists, architects, gallerists, designers, musicians and collectors to talk about their passion for art. Art Basel is an annual art fair that has been held in various cities around the world including Basel, Switzerland; Miami Beach, Florida; Hong Kong and Paris.

The program was hosted by Marc Spiegler, the global director of Art Basel. A new episode is released every two weeks.

By Park Yuna (yunapark@heraldcorp.com)
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