He has created larger-than-life sets for Bollywood movies — Black, Saawariya, Yuvraaj etc — that transported viewers to a fantasy world. Omung Kumar has created opulent sets and is a master in art-direction and set-design. His latest venture is a permanent structure, a culture, arts, crafts and food boulevard, called the Kingdom of Dreams in Sector 29, Gurgaon.
One of the three parts of the structure, the Culture Gully, opening today, brings to life the hustle bustle of a busy Indian bazaar. “Movie sets just come and go, making it difficult for viewers to absorb it. But the Kingdom of Dreams is here to stay. It was fascinating to create pavillions with intricate detailing, specific to a place,” explains Kumar, who worked with his wife Vanita on the project. As many as 300 artisans and craftsmen from different parts the country handcrafted and painted the gully.
Kingdom of Dreams is an attempt at bringing different cultures of India via 14 state pavillions. Each carries its trademark — Punjab with a colourful truck and cycle rickshaw, Mumbai with the dabbawalas, clock tower and old movie posters, Kerala with the houseboat, Rajasthan with an overdose of royal colours and so on.
Kumar says, “Visualising is over-the-top… where tourists get to feel India in totality.” A bar on the first floor has an Old-Delhi feel with ceiling drop crystals, velvet curtains and high-back chairs with carvings in gold. “The canopies, tassels, framed tarot pictures on the ceiling and ample use of red gives the tarot room a very mystic and surreal feel. The Lucknow restaurant has ½-cm mirror pieces in gold and green that has been hand-pasted on the walls and ceiling. The chandelier is also from a bygone era.”
The entrance to the gully and the décor inside is dominated by lotus motifs. Another highlight is the 110-feet figure of sleeping Buddha at the entrance.
After the Kingdom of Dreams, Kumar is now busy designing the sets for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Commonwealth Games.