MUMBAI, INDIA 2098
After the corporations ran the global government into the ground, billions of the poorest souls around the world were left to fend for themselves. Ninety percent of the fifty point three million people in Mumbai have settled into a sprawling third world slum city.
The extremely wealthy around the world sheltered from the corporate funded warfare and the grasping fingers of the impoverished citizens in self contained cities called Arcologies.
Now, decades after the collapse, a gang of three Indian orphans struggle to survive under the shadow of Mumbai’s Arcology. They scavenge in the abandoned techno-industrial wastelands outside the city, sifting for lost intel and valuable resources in the overgrown and derelict ruin of the decadent past.
Out there, in the reclaimed wild; braving crumbling buildings, toxic waste, and rusting murderous drones, crafty but innocent hands will discover a world-ending evil that was better off forgotten.
Post Apocalyptic movies are all the rage in Hollywood with stunning imagery of desolate landscapes and futuristic technology. But how often have you seen the same concept applied to our own cities?
Artist Kushal Tikle has created a vision of post apocalyptic Mumbai in the year 2098, inspired by a story from Thoughtgunshells Studio. It is a time when corporations rule the city and large areas have been converted to industrial wastelands. Kushal paints the story of 3 orphans living in the slums of Mumbai, which have grown vertically to rise above the desolate landscape.
Speaking about his inspiration, Kushal says “I wanted to recreate the post apocalyptic environment depicted in movies like Blade Runner, but with a more earthy, Indian colour palette. I developed upon a concept story of 3 orphans from the slums of Mumbai who are leading a resistance against the evil corporations who have taken over the region. In their greed they have turned much of the city into an industrial wasteland with people forced to live in misery. The three orphans basically build air-ships from scrap found in the industrial wastelands in and around Mumbai. For the moods, I relied heavily on the imagery of slums of Mumbai.”
Kushal’s heroes are arming themselves for a final battle with machines and ships built from scrap found in the vast wastelands. Kushal’s concept art, while futuristic, contains instantly recognisable elements and materials from Mumbai’s sprawling slums.
Cruising through suburban Mumbai 2098
Kushal Tikle is a Singapore based artist working with Ubisoft. An interior architect and a concept designer by training, his work combines his passion for art, technology and story telling. He considers his main strengths to be the manipulation of colour, light and form to visualise story sequences, character designs and environment moods. Asked to describe his work, he calls it quite gritty and messy. Kushal likes to see life and energy in a painting or a sketch as he believes it gives the viewer a lot of information to make his/her own interpretation of the subject, and also serves as an inspiration.
About his process Kushal says, “My process depends on a lot of factors, though I always thumbnail my sketches before I start painting the final one, it helps me create options for the particular view and elements I want to put in the painting. I sometimes start a painting directly from a reference, scratch line drawing or sometimes just plain random value painting. Attention to detail and a strong work ethic places a lot of emphasis on my research and experimentation in my work. I thrive on the constant challenge to learn and grow as a designer using my skills and talent.”
Kushal eventually hopes to develop this concept into a movie script for what will be a major breakthrough for Indian cinema. Here is a look at some more of Kushal’s artwork. You can find a lot more at kushaltikle.com