Approximately a year ago, Kang Daniel kicked off his colour trilogy with his EP Cyan and the title track “2U”. Earlier this week, the trilogy came to an end with the release of his EP Yellow and the title track “Antidote”. In the MV for “Antidote”, Kang Daniel brings the trilogy to a deeply personal but uplifting conclusion.
Visually and lyrically, “Antidote” stands out against his previous releases for this trilogy. The first release, “2U”, was a cheerful and mischievous spring anthem while the second release, “Who R You”, was the sexy summer followup, filled with passion and desire.
The concluding title track, “Antidote”, is a stark contrast from the first two releases in the level of intimacy that Kang Daniel displays. He longs for an escape from his suffering in the dark, lonely, and suffocating nights as he lets the audience into some of his most personal thoughts. If “2U” and “Who R You” were releases dedicated to Kang Daniel’s connection with others, “Antidote” is an honest reflection of his demons (also addressed in “Paranoia”) and his escape from them.
As would be expected from the album title, the colour yellow plays a prominent role in the MV, but it is used as a symbol of his oppression. Yellow can often be connected to feelings of happiness and cheer; however, to Kang Daniel it represents feelings and expectations from society that quite literally trap him.
The opening shot is him kneeling, as he is encircled by dismembered pieces of yellow mannequins. It’s eerie, and it also serves as an immediate cue that yellow is a colour that brings about a sense of isolation to Kang Daniel. Dancers in white form another circle around him, effectively becoming another barrier between him and his escape.
Another dizzying set shows him disoriented and boxed into a small space where the walls are painted in black and yellow swirls. The walls are reminiscent of a poisonous animal’s skin whose bright colours try to ward off potential predators, and it speaks to the toxicity of his surrounding environment. Kang Daniel feels stuck in a world that both enables and traps him in his suffering, and he feels like a puppet performing against his own will.
Indeed, he dances on a stage as people take videos and photos of him on their phones with screens that flash a bright yellow. This particular scene ties his predicament to his real-life job as a K-pop idol; in a fast-paced industry with strict expectations, Kang Daniel feels burdened and confined by his duties as a performer.
Yellow is used to represent external pressures and problems, but the MV also features blue to reflect Kang Daniel’s melancholic thoughts and feelings.
Blue, as a colour associated with sadness, is prevalent in his outfits as well as props and sets. He never wears any yellow, and the colour is contained to his setting while he wears blue throughout. The resulting feelings of despair from outside influences are expressed in blue, and the most obvious example is the blue ribbons he gets tangled in as he struggles to breathe and escape.
Another is a blue-tinged set as Kang Daniel dances in a circle formed by mirrors that face inward. He cannot get away from himself, which hints at internal demons that he also has to face.
Most of “Antidote” is fairly bleak, but Kang Daniel pulls through to reassure his audience that he will be okay. Despite his suffering, he is resilient. He frantically sprints through a parking lot, and just as all hope seems lost as he struggles to breathe amongst the blue ribbons, the curtain is tossed. The shot opens to Kang Daniel framed against nothing but endless sky, indicating his escape and internal and external peace that he has attained. He relishes in his freedom, and he dances on the rooftop of a building and he is higher than the people and things that ever haunted him. It’s bright and freeing, and the scene is the very definition of a sigh of relief as it contrasts with the intensity of most of the MV.
“Antidote” brings his colour trilogy and his suffering to an end, and it is an honest and inspiring MV that reminds us that our darkest moments will always be followed by better days. As an established performer, Kang Daniel chooses to end his colour trilogy on a personal note while inviting fans to stay tuned for the adventures that lay ahead of him.
(YouTube. Images via Konnect Entertainment.)