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ARMYs can’t stop praising RM BTS for selecting a Feminist Artist’s Work Honorable Mention at the LACMA exhibition

The Los Angeles County Museum (LACMA) co-organizes the exhibition with National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Korea, containing 130 masterpieces by contemporary Korean artists (1897-1965). The Space Between: Contemporary Korean Art, what is the name of the exhibition, it became a hot topic even outside the art community as soon as it turned out that BTS RM it will serve as an audioguide telling the story and description of some of the works of art presented at the exhibition.

| @ kive / Instagram

RM selected ten of his favorite songs for the project, one of which is Rha Hye Sok self portrait. This choice especially impressed fans as Rha Hye Sok is considered a pioneer of Korean feminism.

Rha Hye Sok “Self-portrait”, 1928 | Wikimedia Commons

RM told the story of her life in an audio guide, following her journey from being a revolutionary artist in Korea to becoming one of the most outraged “radical” women of her time. Born in 1897, Rha Hye Sok began to study oil painting at School of Art for Women in Tokyo when she was 16. She was the first Korean to study Western-style oil painting. Her first individual exhibition was held in Seoul in 1921, when public interest and knowledge of Korean oil painting were close to zero.

The audio narrative also touched on Rha Hye Sok’s activism, highlighting her commitment to the women’s liberation movement.

Rha Hye-seok was the epitome of the “new woman” of today. In addition to her groundbreaking work as an oil painter, she was also actively involved in the women’s liberation movement. She helped publish the magazine A new woman and has written numerous articles on women’s liberation as an accomplished illustrator and novelist.

– lacma.org

Rha Hye Sok with her husband left for Europe and the United States in 1927. She trained at Roger Bissière’s studio in Paris and her artistic style has evolved into bolder and darker images. “Self-portrait” is one of those works with a dark palette of colors, reflecting the psychological confusion with which she struggled in her life.

The darkness that appeared in Rha Hye-seok’s paintings was probably related to her marriage problems. After returning to Korea, the marriage ended in divorce. At a time when marital infidelity and divorce were heavily stigmatized, she spoke openly about her situation. In an article titled “Confession About My Divorce,” she described the reasons for the divorce, criticized the gender inequality and stated that every woman deserves autonomy as an independent person. Unfortunately, in those days, Korean society did not tolerate women who expressed such progressive ideas or tried to undermine traditional values. As a result, society gradually rejected Rh. She spent the last years of her life in poverty and alienation before dying alone in 1948.

– lacma.org

The fact that RM has chosen to highlight such a song and such a personality when anti-feminist sentiment is dangerously high in South Korea has made fans proud. Many believed that this movement was an important example that proves that feminism is not a dividing movement that pits men and women against each other.

This is not the first time RM has openly shown his support and appreciation for feminist writers. During a live broadcast in 2017, he spoke about Kim Ji Young, b. 1982, a book that gives a voice to South Korean women fighting against gender-based discrimination. Associating with feminism was a constant threat to idol careers, as was seen when anti-feminist female fans Red velvet‘s Irene she burned her photo cards to show their disapproval after finding out she had read the same novel. But RM has never backed down from using its enormous platform to give these oppressed voices a chance to be heard and recognized.


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