Galaxy Unpacked 2023 experience zone view 2

Here’s how genius Squid Game Art Director Kyung-sun Chae contributed to Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked 2023 experience zone in Seoul

Observant guests who attended Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked 2023 event in Korea, the first time they’ve ever done so on their home turf, will probably notice the impressive décor that graced the entire venue from the moment they entered all the way to the Experience Zones which paid homage to traditional Korean architecture. 

While the main hall where Galaxy Unpacked 2023 took place and most of the surrounding area was done up in Samsung’s typical aesthetics, the Galaxy Unpacked 2023 experience zone in particular held an unusual sense of deja vu with its unusually clean, stylised interpretations of ‘hanok’ style architecture and neon backdrops harkening back to another insanely popular show from Korea and no wonder either as the Galaxy Unpacked 2023 experience zone was created by the one and only Kyung-sun Chae, art director of Netflix’s insanely popular show ‘Squid Game’.

Galaxy Unpacked 2023 experience zone Kyung sun chae Kyung-sun Chae, art director of

Kyung-sun Chae , Art director of Squid Game created the unique look of the Galaxy Unpacked 2023 Experience Zones where users got to experience the new Fold5, Flip5, Watch6 and Tab S9 series tablets [Source Samsung Newsroom]

In Squid Game, her work interpreting traditional Korean architecture such as in the next-to-last game where contenders were fighting for all the marbles, literally, in the show with its depiction of a traditional Korean neighbourhood replete with alleys and old metal gates along with the eerily upscaled playground where contestants tried to cut shapes open from sugar candy were all from her brilliant mind. Samsung’s Newsroom managed to get an interview with her. We reproduce it below ad verbatim and it makes for very interesting reading…

Q. How do you feel being the director overseeing the Galaxy Unpacked 2023 Experience Zone at the first Galaxy Unpacked held in Seoul?

I’m proud that I got to showcase various features of the latest Galaxy devices and highlight Seoul’s charm to countless people through Galaxy Unpacked. My favourite part of this experience was developing the initial concepts for the Experience Zone. Through this event, I now have a new desire to introduce Korean culture and spaces to a wider audience using Galaxy technology.

Galaxy Unpacked 2023 experience zone interior hanok

[Source: Samsung Newsroom]

Q. What are some differences between the Galaxy Unpacked 2023 Experience Zone you created for Galaxy Unpacked and production designs you’ve created in the past?

Production design is about visualising text in video — it’s all about expressing the textual themes and distinct attributes of the characters in a visually effective manner.

For Galaxy Unpacked, I had to take a different approach from directing a production since actual visitors would be attending and experiencing the space in person. Because it’s the first time that new Galaxy devices are being unveiled in South Korea, I focused on presenting the modern aesthetics of Galaxy and accentuating the true beauty of Seoul, the city where tradition and technology coexist.

Q. What is the concept of the Galaxy Unpacked 2023 Experience Zone?

To me, it was meaningful that the event was hosted in Seoul. I wanted to create a harmonious space that displayed a fresh perspective of the city alongside the new Galaxy devices. This is how I decided on the concept of the Experience Zone — preserving existing perspectives, unfolding folded perspectives and sharing new perspectives.

Galaxy Unpacked 2023 experience zone ambient view

[Source Samsung Newsroom]

To convey this, I actively utilised hanok, an architecture unique to Korea. As the traditional structure of hanok shares some similarities with the foldable structure of the Galaxy Z Flip5, I presented the experience of seeing one’s perspective expand or unfold by leaning on the structure of the hanok. I included themes of “openness” and “infinite expansion” from the world of Galaxy to complete the experience.

In addition, I applied Korean traditional landscape architecture, “chagyeong,” which means to lend scenery. In hanok, a window is like a frame that holds nature. Chagyeong allows you to fully appreciate nature and enjoy the expanded space through the frame, even from within the hanok. I implemented this design principle while designing and directing the Galaxy Unpacked 2023 Experience Zone.

I developed each Galaxy product booth using “changho,” the Korean traditional door of a hanok, and positioned them to form the shape of a lotus flower. Behind the traditional Korean door, the night view and futuristic landscape of Seoul are visible. Visitors can appreciate the new Galaxy products in a different light, as the products merge with the Seoul backdrop.

Lastly, I placed traditional elements throughout the entire Experience Zone. I recreated what Seoul looked like in the past by using the traditional walls and structure of hanok as well as other historical items such as “soban,” a small tray-like table. I designed the wall with glass material to mirror the vision behind Galaxy, which seeks to preserve existing values while continuing to evolve and innovate.

I hope the visitors will enjoy both the Seoul skyline and the new Galaxy products through this unique space.

Galaxy Unpacked 2023 experience zone main view

[Source Samsung Newsroom]

Q. What inspiration did you get from the new Galaxy products when designing the space?

The Galaxy Z Flip5 has many unique characteristics with its ingenious foldable form factor and sophisticated design. These characteristics resemble Seoul as the city simultaneously embraces both tradition and modernity by combining the familiar with the unfamiliar. In particular, I used the decalcomania method, inspired by the Galaxy Z series, to portray Seoul at both day and night.

I highlighted the contrast between the city’s day and night by using black and white in the background. I also utilised the mint colour of the Galaxy devices and Korean traditional patchwork material to create Seoul’s cityscape, which shines brightly at all times of the day. In addition, I expressed shadows by utilising Galaxy products. The structure that was made with the folding screen as the motif, in which visitors can draw the shadows to express their uniqueness, was inspired by Galaxy foldable.

Q. You have been the art director of various historical TV dramas that capture the different aesthetics of Seoul. Did that influence the design process when creating the Galaxy Unpacked 2023 Experience Zone?

Throughout the ideation and creation process for Galaxy Unpacked, I aspired to create a space that gave visitors a chance to enjoy traditional Korean hanok as well as Galaxy products. I hope that everyone who visits the Experience Zone will have a memorable experience at the very first Galaxy Unpacked event in Seoul.

[Source – Samsung Newsroom]