You don't need us to tell you that BTS is one of the biggest musical acts in the world. Even during a pandemic, the Korean megastar boy band is everywhere. They released not one, but two albums in 2020—Map Of The Soul: 7 and Be. And their September 2020 single, "Dynamite" was not only their first-ever fully English song—as of yesterday it is now the record holder as the longest-ever number one digital single. It's been No.1 for 18 different weeks!
But BTS are about more than just blowing up the pop charts. This super seven also has an eye on serious art.
Early last year, we wrote about their global art show, CONNECT, BTS. This five-city, 22-artist mega-project was all about bringing the band's ideas of global connection to life as artwork. To see it, you needed to visit Seoul, Buenos Aires, London, Berlin, and New York. And did we mention that there was a pandemic that greatly restricted travel?
If you are one of the millions who wanted to see this huge show first hand but couldn't, BTS have your back. On March 29, the band announced that they are releasing an e-book of the exhibit on April 30. And it's FREE! What a great way to bring this art to everyone!
Check out their tweet below.
각자의 다양성들이 서로 '연결'된 세상을 만들어나갈 수 있다는 믿음.
It's the belief that diversity can create a world where differences 'CONNECT' us together through our uniqueness.
— BTS_official (@bts_bighit) March 29, 2021
Font also available
The free download will also include access to a free font. What's that?
A font is simply a way to make letters, numbers, and other written characters and symbols. There are many different types out there. Like this. Or this!
As a part of the CONNECT, BTS project, the band had their own font made. And now, you'll be able to download that font on to your devices to make everything you write a little more BTS-friendly. Neat!
Taking a stand
BTS have also been using their global reach to speak to something bigger than art: Anti-Asian racism.
Tragic events in the United States in March brought this conversation to the world, leading to a rise in the hashtag #StopAsianHate. In a tweet on March 29, the members of BTS pointed out that racial discrimination is something that they have faced often "as Asians", even as some of the biggest stars on the planet.
Using a statement written in both Korean and English, they said, "it required considerable time for us to discuss this [issue] carefully" and that "what our voice must convey is clear."
"We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence." The full statement is here.
— 방탄소년단 (@BTS_twt) March 30, 2021
Getting active, together
As we've discussed on this site before, systemic racism is a problem that touches our entire society. It affects even the most powerful members of racialized communities—from pop stars to athletes to actors to politicians to business people. Many young people have been speaking up, using their voices to talk about racism and other issues.
Whether through art, music, or words, BTS is also doing what they can to bring different communities together and support those who are victims of racism (the band also gave their support to Black Lives Matter last summer).
As they say in their statement: "We will stand together."