RM, (Kim Namjoon) the leader of the globally renowned K-pop group BTS, has once again demonstrated his dedication to the arts and history. This time, for the donation of 100 million won (consecutively) to support the restoration of a cherished cultural artifact, the Hwarot (활옷), a 19th-century Joseon Dynasty princess bridal gown. This donation not only reflects RM's love for preserving cultural heritage but also sets a remarkable example for his fans and admirers around the world.
Thanks to RM and his noble donation the Hwarot was restored by the Overseas Korean Cultural Heritage Foundation and now exudes its grace in the National Palace Museum of Korea, allowing visitors in Korea and around the world to marvel at its magnificence (from Sept. 15).
Read more about the Hwarot here (Korean Heritage).
A Dress with Historical Significance
The Hwarot (활옷) is no ordinary piece of clothing. It is a historical artifact that carries with it the rich heritage of Korea. Believed to have been worn by many Joseon Dynasty princesses (1392-1910), the dress represents an important part of the nation's cultural legacy, and like any other historical antiquity, it had deteriorated over time and faced the risk of being lost to history forever. According to our trusty source Wikipedia, “the Hwarot is expensive to make so a single gown would be passed down for several generations. Due to years of use, many repairs would need to be made such as using patches of embroidery cut from other gowns.”
“Blooming Hwarot: Bridal Robes of the Joseon Royal Court”
The National Palace Museum of Korea based in Jongno-gu, Seoul is now holding an exhibition called the “Blooming Hwarot” where visitors are able to see 110 artifacts relating to the bridal gowns and Joseon Dynasty Royal Court including 9 Hwarot dresses. An interesting fact about 1 of the 9 Hwarot dresses that we know for sure is that Princess Bok-On (복온공주/ 1818-1832) wore the Hwarot featured in the picture below.
The exhibition will run from September 15th to December 13, 2023, so if you’re in Seoul at that time don’t forget to check it out!
You can check out more about the exhibition here (문화유산채널[K-HERITAGE.TV]):
YouTube Channel: 문화유산채널[K-HERITAGE.TV]
A Beacon of Inspiration & Guardian of Legacy
RM's generous donation is not only about monetary value; it's about setting an example for others to follow. His actions serve as a beacon of inspiration, encouraging fans and fellow celebrities to consider how they can contribute to the preservation of their own cultural heritage. In a rapidly changing world, where traditions and artifacts are sometimes forgotten, RM reminds us of the importance of remembering our roots. Thank you, Namjoon!
The restoration of the Hwarot is not just the preservation of a historical garment; it's a way of safeguarding a piece of Korea's identity for future generations. Through his donation, RM ensures that this tangible link to the past will continue to exist, serving as a source of inspiration and knowledge for those who come after us.
How enchanting would it be to see the Hwarot? Comment below with your thoughts on the restoration and RM’s remarkable donation!