The Scream is one of the most famous paintings in Western art history. There is something incredibly intriguing about Edvard Munch’s masterpiece. Why is that person screaming? Are they surprised or terrified? Is it something they are seeing or is it behind them? We can barely distinguish two other human beings, but they do not seem to react the same way. Luckily, in Squid Game, we know exactly why participant 306 reacted like that.
Squid Game’s Triangular Table
You do not see many triangular tables ever. Truly, it is an odd shape for furniture, so it naturally stands out when you see it. In episode 8 Front Man, Seong Gi-hun, Cho Sang-woo, and Kang Sae-byeok are rewarded with a luxurious dinner as finalists after surviving the Glass Bridge game. Taking the whole traumatic experience aside, the table is precisely in that triangular shape, one side for each of them. The call back to Judy Chicago’s Dinner table is inevitable. Of course, Chicago was trying to visibilize women in history while Squid Game is emphasizing the number 3 (against the 456 participants that began the game).
Escher’s Crazy Staircases Take Us to Squid Game
One of the show’s cleverest ideas was the design of the staircases. The space is full of intricate halls and multiple fake doors that would make any attempt to escape highly difficult. In fact, we see its effectiveness in episode 5 A Fair World. Furthermore, the colors like the childhood games in themselves add to the perversity of using very innocent elements in such a vicious place. But here, we can only think about M. C. Escher’s worlds. Specifically, we think of his print Relativity. In fact, the director Hwang Dong-hyuk, admitted it was a source of inspiration.
Squid Game’s Surrealist Ball
Every group in this show has its own aesthetic. For instance, the VIPs remind us of one of the avant-garde movements. In 1972, Baroness Marie-Hélène de Rothschild and her husband hosted a surrealist ball. Naturally, Salvador Dalí attended with other celebrities, such as Audrey Hepburn, Baron Alexis de Redé, Hélène Rochas, and the supermodel Marisa Berenson. The dress code was simple: “black tie, long dresses & surrealist heads”. The fancy event was held in the Chateau de Ferrières in France. As a result, the guests came up with elaborate masks, very similar to the ones featured at Squid Game. Moreover, the entire decoration is equally extravagant.