RM, the leader of the pop group BTS, was recognized by a South Korean agency for his overseas efforts to help preserve and restore Korean cultural artifacts.
The 28-year-old singer, who released his solo album Indigo on Friday, received a plaque of appreciation from the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA). RM, whose real name is Nam-joon, shared the news on Instagram with a short “Thank You” note.
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According to the Korea Times, the plaque’s engraving says, “You have contributed to preserving and promoting Korean cultural artifacts outside the country with great affection for our cultural heritage and history. You are being honored with much appreciation and gratitude.”
The pop superstar has established a reputation for his interest in art and other artists through visits to museums, galleries, and major art fairs. In between publicity events and tours, he has shared news of all of this on his influential social media channels. RM also made large financial donations of 100 million won (about $77,000 USD today) to the Overseas Korean Cultural Heritage Foundation and the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea.
In addition to collecting art from domestic and foreign artists, RM loaned a terra cotta sculpture of a horse by the Korean artist Kwon Jin-kyu to a Seoul Museum of Art for a retrospective that ran until May of this year.
RM’s arts patronage and advocacy were even the subject of a a New York Times profile in August. It detailed how his efforts have contributed to a conservation project on historical Korean bridal costumes, as well as a major exhibition of modern Korean art, both at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.