Meet the K-pop stars taking on the art world

Written by ayunda · 3 min read >

Meet the K-pop stars taking on the art world
t first glance, the three names beside a series of surreal high-contrast paintings, moody black and white photographs and Jackson Pollock-esque splatters might not jump out among over 70 artists appearing at a London art fair next week.
But fans of K-pop may recognize at least one of them: Henry Lau, a Chinese-Canadian singer who rose to fame with South Korean boyband, Super Junior. Reversing another of the artist’s names, Ohnim, meanwhile reveals his identity as rapper Mino, a member of popular K-pop group Winner. His bandmate Kang Seung-Yoon is flying under the radar using the pseudonym Yooyeon.
The three performers have all forged successful careers in South Korea’s burgeoning music industry. Now, they are attempting to crack an even tougher market: the elite world of contemporary art.

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The trio may not be short of potential buyers when their art goes on show at StART, a five-day fair at London’s Saatchi Gallery. Keen-eyed Winner fans have already offered Mino — who asked to be referred to as Ohnim for this piece — thousands of dollars for one of his original paintings. However, speaking via video call from Seoul, the rapper said he was hesitant about selling his work publicly.
“Tons of my fans keep offering all kinds of prices for a piece, because they’re fans,” he said via a translator. “But I don’t want to do that. I want to actually belong in the art world and it be recognized by critics that my artwork is (worth) a certain price. I don’t want to take advantage of my fans… I have to take care of them.”

From cars to ‘ARMY bombs’: Chip crunch creeps into K-pop world
As top K-pop bands get ready to go back on stage or live stream new shows after being sidelined by the pandemic, their fans discover the global chip crisis has also caught up with the world of catchy tunes, glitzy outfits and elaborate dance routines.

Light sticks, a must-have accessory for hard-core enthusiasts of South Korean pop, have become pricier and harder to get due to the shortage that has hit production of anything from smartphones to cars.

The glowing wands fans wave during concerts and virtual events are fitted with so-called microcontrollers for power management and to pair with a phone to change colors, and highlight how far the squeeze has rippled through various industries and aspects of everyday life.
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The price of light sticks, used by “ARMY” or fans of mega-band BTS and referred to as “ARMY bombs”, has increased by $2 to $59 from Oct. 1, Hybe entertainment-owned Weverse Shop said, blaming the “persistent global semiconductor shortage”.

K-pop band Tomorrow x Together aka TXT: We hope to see our fans in person through our concerts
Korean music group Tomorrow x Together (TXT) was a bit upset about their virtual stage debut, and are hoping to meet their fans, who they like to call Moment of Alwayness (MOA), in person soon
K-pop band Tomorrow X Together packed 25 songs in their energetic debut concert (BIGHIT MUSIC)
K-pop band Tomorrow X Together packed 25 songs in their energetic debut concert (BIGHIT MUSIC)
Updated on Oct 06, 2021 08:08 PM IST
By Sugandha Rawal

The fans of K-pop boy band, Tomorrow X Together (TXT) were in for a night to remember, as the pop quintet made their stage debut with the first-ever concert, which was broadcasted online. The five-member band with Soobin, Yeonjun, Taehyun, Beomgyu and Hueningkai, will soon be back a promised, with more concerts and this time in an offline avatar.

Just a year before the pandemic, the band made their debut in March 2019. And after two-and-a-half-years they went live in a fan exclusive concert titled, Tomorrow X Together Live Act: Boy, on October 3, packing 25 songs in a two-hour-long performance.

Speaking to his fans just before wrapping up the concert, Hueningkai said, “We promise we will never disappoint you, and you will never get bored. Getting close to the end of our performance is thrilling in another sense. It is the first time that the five of us put up a live stage show. There is a big sense of achievement as we near its end,” adding, “TXT will always try to be better. I hope to meet you in person next year.”