DEFINITION January 2022 – Web


TAKING INSPIRATION MC Escher’s Relativity is one of multiple major artworks recreated by the show’s sets

chops from Dong-hyuk and his team – portrayed in a supersized format. A VISUAL MASTERPIECE Squid Game is a colourful depiction of the lengths humans go to when desperate for freedom and money. But it also serves as representation of South Korea’s underbelly, where loan sharks, gambling and – most disturbingly – organ harvesting is rife. The gargantuan sets help create this sinister thriller, unlocking the senses with striking imagery. But beneath the sociopolitical perspectives, there are the human messages that seep through as the plot deepens. Each character has their own reason to survive, but are any of them justifiable for the crimes that must be committed to be the last person standing? That’s for you to decide. Squid Game is available to stream on Netflix. Top tip – don’t watch the dubbed-over version!

omission of gravity – making it such a thought-provoking piece of art. Use of surrealism highlights the removal from the players’ everyday lives. Another evocation is thrown into the viewers’ faces during ‘red light, green light’. After the first players are shot, blood splashes onto the competitors behind. The camera trombones onto a female player; her hands placed on each side of her blood-spattered face to create an image that is, through gestures and colour palette, reminiscent of Edvard Munch’s famous painting The Scream . Additionally, there is a depiction of feminist artist Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party , for the ‘Last Supper’ scene with the final players. To be able to meld set design with art and performance in this way demonstrates astounding production

in collaboration with the show’s actors, recreate famous artworks. Perhaps the starkest of these references is to that of the famed lithograph print, Relativity , by MC Escher. An iconic image in which the rules of gravity do not apply, the legendary artwork is mirrored in the dazzling depiction of the staircases within Squid Game ; where the depleted players endlessly clamber between challenges or return to their colossal dormitory. As the players trudge towards the next bloodbath, the bold portrait acts to create tension – and it is sobering upon their silent return, as they process the trauma of the events they have just witnessed (and committed). It hints at how the laws of morality have been removed, mirroring Escher’s

DANGEROUS DOLL The stars of Squid Game have described how the giant doll, 4.57 metres in height and weighing in at 3000kg, originated as a character in Korean school textbooks. The doll itself came from Macha Land (a museum dedicated to horse carriages) in Jincheon County, Chungcheongbuk-do

29. JANUARY 2022

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