Skull : From Scarf to Grave



The skull has various symbolisms.


At times, it may represent death and fear, or the finite nature of life; and also it is consumed as a trendy fashion icon. For the 8th topic of Design&Tech, we would like to talk about ‘Skulls”



# The Skull, symbolizing Death and the Finite Nature of Life


The skull symbolizes fear and anxiety as much as it is related to death.


This can be seen for example on the flag of a pirate or the symbol on poison. In the thriller movie, “The Wailing”, the skull added to the gloomy mood with the ‘Snapdragon Flower’ which resembles a skull when dead. And in the “Harry Potter” series, the sign for the death-eaters was indeed a skull.

However, fear isn’t the only thing that the death of the skull symbolizes. It also delivers a message about life through the contrast of life and death.


Of the regular subjects in Dutch still life art, Vanitas, the clock symbolizes the transience of life, the book symbolizes the futility of knowledge, and the skull symbolizes death. In regards to the symbolization of death, in Vanitas paintings, it is more representative of the inevitability of death and human mortality, or “Memento mori”; rather than the fear of death itself.


Likewise, in the famous Roman tourist attraction “Capuchin Crypt”, the skulls of over 4000 priests are used to decorate the interior of the church. The words, “What you are now we used to be; what we are now you will be” are written at the entrance. The skulls within the crypt make us think deeply, rather than create fear.



# The Glamorous and Luxurious Rebirth of the Skull


The skull is being consumed in a wider variety of ways as they have been introduced to modern times. They are being used in a casual and friendly, as well as luxurious fashion; in the likes of fashion, pop culture, art, etc.


English designer Alexander McQueen transformed the image of the skull. He reinterpreted the skull as “glamorous” rather than “gloomy”. In particular, his skull pattern scarf has gained worldwide popularity for its casual and luxurious charm.

In the Disney Pixar Animation CoCo, based on the ‘The Day of the Dead’, a Mexican holiday, a variety of skeleton characters were seen. The main character Miguel, meets his ancestors in the Land of the Dead. The skeleton characters in Coco were loved by many people for their full personality and human appearance instead of an eerie look.


There are also many works of art that have used skulls as subjects. Of those, “For the Love of God”, a sculpture by artist Damien Hirst is a platinum cast of an 18th Century human skull encrusted with 8601 diamonds, was sold for nearly $100 million and drew a great deal of attention.



# Steady Selling Skull Theme


In the Samsung themes, the skull is also very popular.


The skull theme is always on the top charts worldwide. In the case of the [Echo] Sugar skull and the [POLY] skull Assassin theme, they have secured the TOP 10 spot for over one month.


[POLY] Skull Assassin / POLYCUBE Inc.

[Echo] Sugar Skull / Echo Visuals, Inc.

Skull of Flower Garden & MOH /  MOH Inc.


The image of the skull in the Samsung theme shows luxury through a combination of black and gold, or with decorative flowers.


Shall we look at some of the skull themes that are popular in the Samsung themes?