BTS Member Performs New Album Live at Dia Beacon

The Dia:Beacon Museum, United States of America. Wikimedia Commons / Velvet

Hudson Valley ARMY—you’re in for a treat! Are you familiar with superstar K-pop group BTS? (Well, you should be!) The seven-piece group, comprised of leader RM, Jin, Suga, J-hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook—have made massive waves in the music industry.

They’ve sold out four massive shows at both Los Angeles’ SoFi Stadium (home of the 2022 Superbowl) and Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. BTS swept the American Music Awards (twicefold: they also dominated the award show last year) and received three Grammy nominations in November for their single “Yet to Come” and collaboration with Coldplay on “My Universe.”

The group recently performed a free, two-hour powerhouse show in Busan, South Korea, to promote the port city’s hopes to become the host for the World Expo in 2030. Following the concert, Big Hit Music—BTS’ management company—announced that the seven members would be enlisting in the South Korean military. (The country requires a mandatory—but highly contentious, especially in terms of high-profile figures like BTS—military draft for men under 30.) Before they all enlist, however, the members had the opportunity to focus on solo work.

First, rapper J-Hope released his anticipated album “Jack in the Box” over the summer and headlined Lollapalooza in Chicago. Jin, the group’s oldest member, put out the single “The Astronaut,” before announcing his enlistment, which could occur as early as next week. All seven members have—or will—distribute EPs, albums, and other projects, before ultimately enlisting by 2024. BTS is set to reunite as a group again in 2025.


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Most recently, leader Kim Namjoon, who goes by RM, dropped his wildly anticipated album “Indigo” on December 2. It’s the rapper’s debut studio album; he released two successful mixtapes “RM” in 2015 and “Mono” in 2017. He described “Indigo” as the “last archive of my 20s” and a “documentation of my youth in the moment of independent phase.” The album is considered a penultimate project, one that reflects RM’s growth, intellect, rise to extreme stardom, his 20s, and art.

In fact, the name “Indigo” was a nod to multiple things in art: it’s RM’s favorite color, it’s used in the technique Shibori (a Japanese dyeing style that involves folding, bunching, or bundling fabric, binding it with a resist, and dyeing it with indigo), and it represents 10 shades of blue—one for each song on the album. The lead-off track “Yun,” which features lovely melodies from Erykah Badu, was inspired by—and named after—Yun Hyeong-Kun, a Korean artist best known for his paintings that feature ultramarine blue (another nod to “Indigo”) on raw canvas or linen. On the album cover, you can even see RM decked out in denim and sitting under one of Yun’s pieces.

“When you think of Piet Mondrian’s [work], all the paintings are titled Composition, right?” RM told The Atlantic. “At some point, I just realized [my identity] is a composition of my own…I want this album to be a composition of everything.”

So, why did we hash out all this BTS history and lore? Here’s why: seeing as “Indigo” is a project almost completely dedicated to art and RM’s perception of creativity, it’s a no-brainer that he decided to perform select songs live across the globe. On December 8, RM announced his latest live session at Dia Beacon, a contemporary art museum on the Hudson River in Beacon. This necessarily didn’t come out of the blue: in December 2021, we wrote about RM’s visit—as an art spectator—to Dia and traced his steps. (You can still see this itinerary below, along with notes on his favorite pieces of art.)

“In December of 2021, [RM] visited Dia Beacon for the first time. Now a year later, we are excited to partner with him for this live performance video and hope you enjoy seeing Dia Beacon through his eyes,” the museum wrote on Instagram.

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The video opened with RM performing “Wild Flower” in the courtyard outside Dia Café. He swayed with emotion, crooning the chorus and rapping lines that cut deep, with the Hudson River as his backdrop. Next, he sang “Still Life” featuring Anderson .Paak (and another art pun) in the John Chamberlain exhibition hall. RM finished out the live session with an edgy, moody display of “Change Pt. 2” among green, fluorescent lights by Dan Flavin, and “No. 2,” a soft, whimsical performance with Richard Serra’s wooden sculptures. To best describe the session: watch it for yourself! (And we don’t blame you if you become an instant RM and BTS fan.)

The 12 minutes are just a small sampling of RM’s debut album—but it leaves you craving more. Clearly, this was the same affect Dia Beacon had on him, as he returned just a year later to sing his heart out with interactive pieces at the museum. As a Hudson Valley resident, it’s cool to see that local art can have such a profound impact on others, including global superstars like BTS. RM is expected to promote other live sessions of “Indigo” soon—and perhaps he’ll even return to Beacon after enlistment. P.S. Be on the lookout for RM’s exclusive interview with Dia—coming out soon.

Follow RM’s Footsteps at Dia Beacon

It’s no secret among the group’s fans—known as ARMY—that RM is known for his artsy and intelligent energy, and interest in the arts and humanities. He’s a book worm and frequent visitor of museums and installations. (He even has an IQ of 148.) In November and December 2021, RM took an art tour across the United States, ending with a visit to Dia Beacon. We retraced his steps and show you where he stopped for photos in the museum.


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First, he visited the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas—known for its contemporary minimalism by founder Donald Judd—and Rothko Chapel and Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. RM then flew to Washington, DC, where he roamed the great halls of the National Gallery of Art, trekked through the National Mall, and explored Georgetown. He rounded out his DMV trip with a glimpse at the Glenstone Museum’s pavilion exhibits in Potomac, Maryland.


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Finally, the producer and rapper arrived in New York. After a quick stop at the KAWS: SPOKE TOO SOON exhibit (everyone knows about BTS’ love for KAWS) at the Skarstedt Gallery in the Upper East Side, RM boarded a Metro-North on Monday. Where to? Oh, only one of the best museums in the Hudson Valley: Dia Beacon.

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RM dedicated two whopping posts of the Valley gem and presumably fell in love with the 1960s and ’70s contemporary art. Photos of Dan Flavin’s fluorescent tubes arranged in various configurations littered his social feed, making us assume Flavin might’ve been RM’s favorite artist of the visit. He posed for shots in Flavin’s interactive untitled (to you, Heiner, with admiration and affection), a vibrant, neon green sculpture that illuminates an industrial-style space. Gorgeous shots of untitled (to the real Dan Hill) and other Flavin works were also featured.


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Also posted were photos of Donald Judd’s geometrical sculptures, Untitled, where 12 stainless steel and Plexiglass boxes are scattered throughout the installation space. Of course, RM is a big fan of Judd’s work. The leader took photos in front of Negative Megalith #5, a large stone entombed in a wall cutout, by Michael Heizer; and roamed throughout the space that houses Heizer’s North, East, South, West. Louise Bourgeois’ massive and unsettling Crouching Spider (a bronze, polished patina, and stainless-steel spider…), and Mario Merz’s glass domed 8, 5, 3 made the cut, too.

Did RM visit other Beacon staples like Glazed Over Donuts, The Beacon Daily, or the Roundhouse? Unless he posts on Instagram, the world will never know…But, what we do know is that Hudson Valley art lovers and ARMY can trace the footsteps of BTS and interact with RM’s favorite pieces at Dia Beacon from Fridays—Sundays, 10 a.m.—4 p.m.

Related: The Hudson Valley Is a Top Place to Visit in the U.S. in 2023

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