|RM of K-pop boy band BTS / Courtesy of HYBE|
By Dong Sun-hwa
RM of K-pop behemoth BTS has helped restore a "hwarot," or a traditional Korean bridal costume, by donating 100 million won ($75,000).
In 2021-22, the BTS front man donated 200 million won to the state-run Overseas Korean Cultural Heritage Foundation to preserve Korean cultural assets abroad. Half of his donation has been used to restore an embroidered bridal costume donned by royal women during the 1392-1910 Joseon Kingdom, which is owned by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).
The robe is currently on display at the National Palace Museum in Seoul's Jongno District.
|A 'hwarot," or traditional Korean bridal costume, from Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is currently on display at the National Palace Museum in Seoul's Jongno District. Courtesy of LACMA|
"The preservation efforts sponsored by RM show how an individual and a state-run institute can join hands to conserve and utilize our cultural heritage," the Korean museum commented. "We should soon return this hwarot to the U.S., so we decided to reveal it to the public before that."
The hwarot was restored using traditional methods after being transferred to Korea last October. An unnamed art collector donated the costume to the LACMA in 1939, and it is believed to date back to the early 20th century.
There are only about 40-50 hwarots left in the world, and the National Palace Museum is currently showcasing nine of them including the one worn by Princess Bokon (1818-1832), the second daughter of Sunjo of Joseon (1790-1834).
The exhibition is scheduled to run through Dec. 13.
RM, 29, is known for his affection for art. He previously took part in recording the audio guide for 10 Korean art pieces at the "The Space Between: The Modern in Korean Art" exhibition at the LACMA.