BTS‘s new concept photos for MAP OF THE SOUL: Persona are as mysterious as they are beautiful. Here are 9 possible clues, hints, and references that may tell us more about BTS’s upcoming album!
1. V’s snake bracelet
RM made several Biblical references in BTS’s “Persona” comeback trailer, and that trend may be continuing in “Version 4” of BTS’s concept photos. In this one, V wears a snake bracelet that some fans feel may be referencing the serpent/Devil, who convinced Adam and Eve to eat “forbidden fruit” in the Garden of Eden.
2. Forbidden Fruit
“Version 4” shows the members holding grapes…
…and strawberries, fruits that could be hinting at the Garden of Eden. In the Bible, Adam and Eve succumbed to the Devil’s temptation to eat fruit from the forbidden “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil”. This caused “The Fall” of humanity and Adam and Eve’s exile from Eden.
Each photo shows the members on the brink of tasting the fruit, suggesting that they may or may not succumb to temptation. The fruit could also be referencing Dionysus and other Greek gods. We’ll be talking about that more, further down the list!
In “Version 4” the member wear pearl accessories. In “Persona”, RM raps: “I’m still not so sure if I’m a dog or a pig or what else / But then other people come out and put the pearl necklace on me”. In the Bible there is a very similar quote: “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine
In each “Version 4” photo, BTS casts not one but two shadows on the walls behind them.
These split shadows may reference the split self and Carl Jung’s “Shadow”, which BTS may explore in their new album.
5. Greek Gods
MAP OF THE SOUL: Persona has significant ties to psychologist Carl Jung, who founded analytical psychology. Carl Jung often used Greek mythology to illustrate his “archetypes”, which classify and explore the human psyche. For example, Demeter is the archetypal mother, Zeus is the archetypal father, and Apollo is the archetypal intellectual. BTS may be channeling this in their decadent “Version 4” photos.
Although roses have man symbolic meanings, some fans think that BTS’s “Version 3” roses might be referencing the rose from BTS’s 2014 music video, “Boy in Luv”.
BTS’s comeback trailer took us back to their 2014 Skool Luv Affair album, so it’s possible!
7. Closed Doors
In “Version 3” and “Version 2”, a closed door is in the background.
BTS have used doors in much of their previous work to both connect and separate rooms, ideas, and the members themselves. What awaits fans behind closed doors this time?
So far, paintings have appeared in 3 of the 4 concept photo versions. “Version 2” has a painting of palm trees, and versions 3 and 4 have atmospheric abstract paintings. BTS have used paintings as part of their storytelling before, so fans may want to pay attention to these ones.
BTS frequently used photographs in their famous The Most Beautiful Moment in Life era as part of their time traveling storylines.
Could that theme be continuing in their new concept? It’s impossible to say for sure, but in “Version 1”, there definitely seems to be a focus on memories…
…and capturing different versions of one’s self through photos.