'It's not just about music anymore' for K-pop's Big Bang

7 August 2016 / 2 months 2 weeks ago

The Korea Herald/ Asia New Network
Aug 6, 2016

According to K-pop group Big Bang, the past decade has been a whirlwind of training, recording, performing and creating. Now, the band members say, they're able to see the bigger picture.

"How to develop our style in the future is one of the biggest things on my mind right now," said G-Dragon at a press conference celebrating the group's 10-year anniversary in northeastern Seoul Thursday.

"It's not just about music anymore. I want to do something that can support all the people in Korea and the world who see us and are inspired to do their own thing."

Since its 2006 debut, Big Bang has been lauded for its progressive, partially self-produced pop, experimental fashion and glitzy performances. Now arguably at the top of the K-pop boy band ladder, the members feel as if they're able to stretch their artistic sides further.

"I think I'm finally at a place where I can do the things I dreamed about doing as a singer," said Taeyang.

"I want to do something that has a positive impact, whatever that might be. After 10 years, it feels like I can see past the music and the stage, and see everything now."

The group, which has released numerous singles and three studio albums -- the latest album "M.A.D.E" was released in four parts throughout last year -- said its breakthrough came in 2011, when it won Best Worldwide Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards.

"I think that was our turning point," said Taeyang.

The members also expressed gratitude toward their fans, both domestic and global, for allowing them to be there.

"When I was young, It didn't really hit home that we were so loved," said T.O.P. "Only now do I look back and feel grateful that (Big Bang members) were by each other's side every day."

"It still feels surreal," said Daesung.

On the popularity of Big Bang's songs among non-Korean speakers, G-Dragon pointed to the universality of music.

"When I was young and didn't know any English, I was drawn by the energy and power of foreign songs, and their melodies," said G-Dragon. "I think these days, music that is entertaining and exciting attracts listeners."

Exhibition A to Z

Big Bang had earlier announced plans to showcase various events as the band marks its 10th anniversary this year. A movie of its world tour was screened in June and the band will hold a concert this month.

On Thursday, it opened an exhibition that traces the group's past, titled "Big Bang Exhibition A to Z."

"I became a member of Big Bang when I was in my late teens. Now I'm in my late 20s," said Seungri. "This exhibition has 10 years of our members' youth and passion in it."

"We tried to come up with the best way to share our memories with fans and offer someplace where they can have a special experience," said Taeyang on the exhibition.

"A to Z," located in S-Factory in Seongsu-dong, Seoul, takes a look back at the past decade of the K-pop group's practice sessions, concerts and many activities. Included are pieces of a wall from YG Entertainment's previous building, on which fans scribbled messages of support for the boy band; video clips of Big Bang's world tour concerts on a towering surround-screen; a pile of clothing worn by Big Bang members in past performances arranged as an installation art piece; and laser art by Chinese artist Liu Dao.

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