BTS’ RM Donated ₩100 Million To Restore Joseon Dynasty Piece

The ceremonial attire is on display at the National Palace Museum of Korea’s exhibit.

Kim Namjoon, also known as BTS’ leader RM, has been a patron of the arts in recent years. From championing Asian artists to donating to museums, his support has been a game changer for the art scene.

“We are very happy that RM, who has a high global influence, is an art lover,” Youn Bummo, director of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, told The New York Times.

READ ALSO: Hitting It Big: Each BTS Member Holds Over 10 Billion Won Of HYBE Stock

RM at LACMA's The Space Between: The Modern in Korean Art exhibition
RM at LACMA’s The Space Between: The Modern in Korean Art exhibition | Image via Instagram @rkive

Just last year, the rapper made a generous donation of ₩100 million (around $72,000) for the preservation and restoration of overseas Korean cultural assets. 

The Culture Heritage Administration has also shared that RM previously donated the same amount in September 2021, though it wasn’t made public at the time.

Preserving cultural heritage

RM’s donation went toward the preservation treatment of a Joseon Dynasty hwarot. The ceremonial attire is a traditional Korean wedding gown usually worn by women in royalty. According to The Korea Times, there are only about 40 robes remaining in the world, including 30 in Korea.

The hwarot which RM's donation helped restore
The hwarot which RM’s donation helped restore | Image via Instagram @gogungmuseum

These ceremonial robes were a symbol of opulence and grandeur, known for their rich embroidery, luxurious red dye, and ornate gold leaf details. But by the late 19th century, commoners could also wear the robes by renting them.

The hwarot that RM’s donation helped preserve is owned by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). An art collector donated the piece to the museum back in 1939. However, the identity of the original wearer is currently unknown.

Details of the hwarot's embroidery
Details of the hwarot‘s embroidery | Image via Instagram @gogungmuseum

The cultural asset was then sent back to South Korea. There conservators at the Seok Juseon Memorial Museum at Dankook University in Seoul restored the piece for months. 

The robe is now on display at the National Palace Museum as part of its Blooming Hwarot: Bridal Robes of the Joseon Royal Court exhibition. It will be open to the public from September 15 to December 13, 2023.

Banner image via Instagram @rkive.

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