Have you ever wondered what street food vendors and food stalls in the Philippines would look like in the near-distant future?
Cebu-based artist Ken Hensly, known as Kensuke Creations on social media, has recently come up with amazing design concepts for the Pinoy urban landscape four decades from now.
The first set in the series “Cyberpinas 2063” gives iconic staples in Pinoy street food culture a futuristic makeover in terms of rides and gear.
Theres a manong fishball vendor aboard a flying motorcycle with a sidecar, vendors hawking taho and balut in high-tech vessels, a dirty ice cream hovercart, and a Segway-type vehicle being used to hawk Yakult, to name a few.
In the second part of his Cyberpinas series, Kensuke Creations gives the country’s popular street burger stalls a cyberpunk-themed update as tanks and other armored vehicles.
Angel’s Burger's yellow stall resembles a siege tank, but still has its colorful logo, iconic window grills, and "Buy 1, Take 1 Free" promos. Burger Machine’s green panzer style tank looks battle ready to serve hungry diners. Meanwhile, Minute Burger’s hovercraft with its signature orange and white colors wouldn't look out of place at a space station.
In an interview with PhilSTAR L!fe, the artist said he drew inspiration from Cyberpunk 2077, the action role-playing video game developed by CD Projekt RED for the artwork series, and "re-imagined a world where Cebu turned into a mecha-opolis."
The artist asked himself: "What would these vendors look like if we adopted them into a futuristic world with cybernetic enhancements?"
The title CyberPinas makes uses of the Philippine country code 63 for the year.
The focus on street food vendors and burger stalls comes as a tribute to those struggling amid the pandemic.
"I, myself, grew up in a rundown neighborhood (slums) in the heart of Cebu City. Street food provided employment and income to my neighbors who we would also consider family friends. Living as residents amongst the urban poor, these vendors contributed to the community with affordable snacks and takeaways. In fact, they have also been considered a lifeline to some low-income families," he said.
"Unfortunately, it's during this pandemic where these vendors are struggling the most. It saddens me to see less and less of them... almost like losing a piece of my childhood. I know that the street food trade definitely deserves recognition for all that they have provided to many Pinoys," he added.
In terms of his design process, the concept artist and digital illustrator shared that it usually takes him about 2 days to complete a set like Cyberpinas's Burger Series, using Adobe Illustrator to create the artwork.
"Once I get inspired to do an art piece, usually I start with research. I look into the specific features of the subjects and the location of my artwork. I would then proceed to do some sketches. Once I'm satisfied with the composition, I continue with my linework and finish off with colors and effects. I take pride in putting a lot of details into my work. Some even have hidden Mickeys here and there. It's fun to read how some people catch and call them out in the comments section," the artist told PhilSTAR L!fe.
The artist also creates videos showing his incredibly detailed design and creative process that he shares on social media including Facebook, Instargram and his YouTube channel, which you can check out below.
According to his bio, Kensuke Creations is currently working as a Team Lead for the Vector - Illustration Deptartment at RipeConcepts, a creative design and web development agency. As an apparel designer, he also owns and designs for Kensuke Creations and Hensly.ltd, catering to a wide market of streetwear and cyber-mecha enthusiasts.
His latest stint even earned him recognition for designing various artwork for Netflix including famous shows like Stranger Things, Money Heist and The Old Guard.
"I actually sell limited pieces of my artworks as t-shirts, stickers and prints on my FB page. They come with a lot of freebies! We might also produce the Cyberpinas set as a sticker bundle," shared Hensly.
Browsing through his Instagram feed will leave you in awe with the amazing concepts that fuses distinctly Pinoy culture, anime, mecha, and street culture. Kensuke Creations is also behind the Power Rangers themed digital artwork that pays tribute to delivery riders as modern day heroes, which was widely shared on social media.
The artist akso paid homage to influential Japanese anime Akira with a mash-up of the all time Filipino favorite fastfood, Jollibee, in his piece “8-700 Killerbee Delivery.”
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"I'm a huge believer in promoting Pinoy products and talent. Currently, I'm in collaboration with RLUX Customs in the creation of my first designer toy, fully Filipino-made resin figures. Other than that, I'm also working with other brands and companies to create products like gaming mats and wearables. All will be revealed in the near future. Hoping for everyone's support!"
(All images via Kensuke Creations)