How did the Shilpakala Academy, where typically traditional Bangali arts and performances are held, make a Kpop fanart famous? Also, in an open-themed art exhibition where all kinds of art were on display, how did two artists with paintings and digital art of BTS members, steal the show?
The answer lies with the fans – the BTS Army, that is. The BTS fever has been spreading throughout Bangladesh for some time now. The Army express their love through many media, the most popular being TikTok videos of them dancing to playful BTS songs.
Some sing their songs, even if some of the lyrics are in Korean. And then there are painters and digital artists like Fahmida Yeasmin Ripa and Mehjabin Hasan Mourin, who express their love for BTS through their own medium: art.
Allkpop, an American website where a big part of BTS fans around the world gather for gossip and Kpop news, featured the paintings on the website.
At a two-day open-themed art exhibition called "Way to Artistry Dream" held at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, two paintings and a digital painting by the Bangladeshi artists were exhibited. The exhibition took place between 23 and 24 September.
Fahmida Yeasmin Ripa did two paintings of Jungkook, vocalist and the youngest member of the boy band BTS and named them "My You" and "1997".
Mehjabin Hasan Mourin made a digital art of Taehyung of V, another member of the band. She named her digital art "We are all living under the masks".
"In 2019, on Instagram, I came across a Spotify advertisement where I listened to just five seconds of the BTS song 'Boy With Luv' and found it interesting. Intrigued, I started researching them, their past and listening to more of their songs," said Ripa.
"I started to follow them and saw their fanarts.They were so inspiring and beautiful that I also wanted to learn how to do their portraits. I opened my own art page and started to post my work.
Slowly other countries took notice of me and somehow my Instagram account @koko.rips got a good amount of followers," Ripa added. The attention from the international BTS Army inspired her to do the paintings of Jungkook.
Mourin said, "The thing that made me Stan them was their lyrics and how beautifully and melodiously they raise their voices against various issues. And this community is really fun and the most supportive fandom I've ever seen."
"It is a cryptic digital art which was inspired by the look of Kim Taehyung's music video "Singularity", in which he is seen dancing with various masks around him. I wanted to portray how we all hide our true emotions and how we hide our truest selves from others and only bring them out when necessary," she added, talking about the inspiration behind the concept of her art.