BTS's RM Gives In-Depth Look Into His Passion For Learning + Shares Deep Insights Into Fashion And Arts

How would you define youth?

BTS’s RM took on this question in an interview accompanying the Vogue pictorial he partook in for May titled “RM stays truthful to every moment.”

The interview was conducted in writing, where he was delivered the questions and left to answer them on his own time. At the time of going through the questions, RM was in his studio on a Saturday night after working out and working on some music.

He began by sharing his thoughts on being on the cover of Vogue by saying, “I feel a lot of pressure because it’s my first time being on the cover of a magazine alone, and on top of that, it’s Vogue.”

Since the pictorial was in partnership with Bottega Veneta, which RM is the new face of for their Spring/Summer campaign, the artist also commented on what fashion means to him. He said, “I once came across the words, ‘Fashion is an ideology,’ and found them greatly memorable. There’s a part of me that thinks it’s an exaggeration, but there’s another part of me that nods along to it. I’ve always thought that fashion is a sort of attitude. I mean, you can’t go around wearing nothing.” He added, “These days, I try not to put too much meaning into it. I sometimes feel like those kinds of thoughts gobble me up. But I still love fashion and deem it important.”

But to RM, fashion is not the only medium for channeling his love for artistic expression. He went on to describe his first memorable encounter with art, saying, “Our memory is always being edited, so I can’t be certain, but my first that I remember is when I saw Monet, van Gogh, and Seurat’s works at the Chicago Art Institute. I think it was around the end of 2018. I was on tour, and I thought I should go to a museum. Seeing something that I had only seen in textbooks or on the computer made me think that you can only do it justice by going to see it in person. I have no gift when it comes to drawing, so I remember looking at these works by artistic giants in pure astonishment and awe. ‘A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte’ was especially memorable.”

While he admits drawing is not a strong point of his, RM explains that he has a role in sharing art with others. He said, “I’ve said this before a few times, but don’t you think someone’s individual Instagram, especially if that person is a public figure, is a sort of curation? To a certain extent, I think it shows what that person is after, what they want to reveal.” He continued, “I post with the hopes that people who are interested in me or like me can have a good experience. Even if it’s just one person. I think that people of my generation especially need to take interest in Korean modern art and antiques.”

RM’s pursuit of learning goes beyond the arts as shown through his latest run with the variety show “The Dictionary of Useless Knowledge,” which he hosted. The artist explained his motivation for pursuing knowledge by saying, “I am in awe when I see people in their 50s, 60s, and even 70s who are still open to new things. We live in an age where there’s an overload of information, and it’s so easy to fall into becoming a young know-it-all. I try to know my own lacking or weaknesses objectively. I try not to get wrapped up in discomfort or get stuck inside the box when I have a new experience or result. I think having an intellectual desire is a given. They say scholarship is something you should uphold throughout your entire life. There are so many things in this world—so many interesting fields—that I don’t know. I believe that I can become a wiser person through art history, aesthetics, architecture, world history, and Korean history. Recently, I’ve been exploring photography and antiques.”

Those are not the only things he’s been exploring, since he is simultaneously chasing after something else —a work-life balance. He explained, “I say this all the time, but the arts is something that is a product of your life and wholly yours. Good creations can come when ‘life’ and ‘play’ convene. You shouldn’t let ideas like ‘music for the sake of music’ and ‘vibes for the sake of vibes’ eat you up. Life needs to come first, so that work can come from it. That’s the balance.”

This is part of the larger picture that RM is painting when it comes to becoming a better person. He states, “I always want to become a better person. But similar to how the way you love is more important than the words, ‘I love you,’ we need to define what being ‘a better person’ means. It’s probably different for each person, right? As I’ve said, I write down the keywords I want for my life and try to find balance among them. I study things I don’t know, play hard with friends, and try to care for those around me. Becoming a better person is really hard. It’s a life-long process. That’s why when I see people who have lived with this purpose and heart for a long time, I feel that they are graceful. Don’t you feel some kind of light radiating from them? Wouldn’t this world become a better place if there were more people who lived like that?”

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