‘Squid Game’: Why Do Contestants Live in a Warehouse? Art Director Explains

Squid Game suddenly took Netflix by storm, as the show perfectly incorporates stress, truths, emotions, a twist ending, and a beautiful set. On its surface, the South Korean show has 456 players participating in six children’s games for a large sum of cash — and if they lose, they die. But the show delves much deeper into what it means to be human. And the art director explored even more meaning through the warehouse the Squid Game cast lived in.

The ‘Squid Game’ cast talked about the beauty of the set

The 'Squid Game' cast on the warehouse set with bunkbeds in the background
‘Squid Game’ cast | Youngkyu Park/Netflix

The Squid Game cast adored the incredible sets as much as the fans. Each children’s game presented a new opportunity to continue telling the story through the props and set design. And Gi-hun actor Lee Jung-jae talked to Netflix about his first feelings upon entering the set.

“Entering the film set on the first day, we were busy taking pictures,” he said. “The set was almost dreamlike.”

“I would imagine a picture of the sets, but the real sets were completely different,” Wi Ha-jun, the actor who played the policeman Jun-ho, added.

Jung Ho-yeon, the beloved model who played Sae-Byeok, also commented on the dreaminess of the design. “Being in the scene was very fantastic,” she said. “It was like being in a world of fantasy.” On the contrary, she mentioned what the characters went through was very “emotional” and “dramatic” in comparison to the sets.

The art director explained why the contestants live in a warehouse throughout the show

While the Squid Game cast loved the sets for the games, the characters’ living situation was far less fantastic. Between games, each player resides in a warehouse where they sleep in bunkbeds and are given daily food by the guards. The walls of the warehouse have decals showing every game to come, but the contestants don’t seem to notice.

“The art director proposed a warehouse store concept,” director Hwang Dong-hyuk said in an interview. “Rather than treating them like people, she suggested the contestants be presented like objects piled on the warehouse shelves.”

Art director Chae Kyoung-sun explained her vision for the warehouse set. “When we were creating the overall spaces, we were thinking of people abandoned on the streets,” she said in a video with the director and cast members. ” … I thought of them as people having nowhere to go. So, I used the material they use for tunnels. Since modern society is constant competition to climb the ladder, we thought about portraying that in the bed design.”

“Even the person on top feels this terror,” Chae continued.

Additionally, Hwang explained the setup allowed the guards to watch over all the conetestants at a glance. “If we stack the beds like a pyramid, or the Colosseum, or the crowd at a stadium, it gives the visuals of a battle arena,” he noted.

Can ‘Squid Game’ happen in real life? The director talked about the real-life themes of the show

'Squid Game' cast behind-the scenes while filming
‘Squid Game’ | Youngkyu Park/Netflix

Many fans adored how real the Netflix series felt, mostly in part to the excellent acting of the Squid Game cast. While it’s unclear if Squid Game would ever happen in real life, director Hwang noted the show certainly takes on real-life themes.

“I wanted to create a sense of connection between the nostalgic games we played in our childhood and the sense of never-ending competition that modern adults feel,” Hwang said, according to NME. “There’s an irony in our most beautiful and innocent memories being changed into the most horrifying reality.”

Will fans get a Squid Game Season 2? While the Squid Game cast seems on board, the director will have to consider. “I don’t have well-developed plans for Squid Game 2,” Hwang told Variety. “It is quite tiring just thinking about it. But if I were to do it, I would certainly not do it alone. I’d consider using a writers’ room and would want multiple experienced directors.”

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