URUMQUAN – have you ever been there?

It is quarter to ten and the plane to Urumquan is leaving in 5 minutes. The flight will last 4 hours and 10 minutes, the weather conditions at the destination are friendly, with temperature around 10 degrees Celsius and moderate wind. All passengers please be seated until further notice and keep their belts fastened as we may be experiencing some turbulences on our way. This could be it… the beginning of a great discovery journey to an Asian country called Urumquan. If only it existed.

But let’s pretend it does exist, for a minute or two. We know a mayor, not the Urumquan’s one, a Mayor of Pepsi, but still, somebody who is familiar with this exotic metropolis. He at the same time happens to be a a writer and an illustrator specializing in the realm of goblin art and lore. Gossip Goblin had the privilege of receiving an invitation from the country’s esteemed Chancellor of Commerce to come and celebrate Black Friday at the Mall of Urumquan. Fortunate enough, we have been invited to join him in this incredible opportunity.

‚Five hundred million years ago, the continental blocks of India and Asia met for the first time. This tectonic collision led to one of Earth’s more memorable periods of orogenic upthrusts, resulting in the scenic mountains that dictate the squiggly borders of a land we now call Urumquan.  
In the ensuing epochs, once geology had run its course, this tiny speck of land would undergo many more tectonic collisions, albeit of the cultural sort. Civilizations rose and fell, empires blossomed and collapsed, horses grazed and froze, communism came and went, and, in the midst of the maelstrom that is history, a distinct peoples emerged, who we now call Urumquanians.  
To tell the story of Urumquan is to tell a story that spans the limits of natural history. No assemblage of paragraphs or photographs can convey the depth nor gravity of this remarkable land – indeed Urumquan is a place that must be seen to be believed. And so, as I depart this mesmerising speck of land, hands shaking not from cold but from bewilderment, I leave you with a final glimpse into the world I was so lucky to call home these last 8 months. Spring has arrived.’
source: Instagram
source: Instagram

‘Sandwiched between the Eastern peaks of Kazakhstan and the Western steppes of Mongolia lies the landlocked principality of Urumquan. Following the discovery of valuable mineral deposits in the 1990s, the once languid microstate witnessed rapid economic growth which transformed Urumquan from a bygone backwater to the bustling Eurasian metropolis we all know and love today.’

artist: Gossip Goblin / source: Instagram

The author has used Midjourney in his workflow and what stands out here apart from the above is that it does not mimic anything that we happened to see recently, no specific artists as references could be seen here. As pointed out in one of his interviews ‘To obtain their preferred style in AI photographs, Gossip Goblin feeds art generators a string of specific terms like, “hyper-realistic, 80s mood, blockbuster movie,” and the medium, as “photographed on Arri Alexa, Super Panavision 70.’ – he told Daily Dot. This incredible mix of Soviet and Asian folk aesthetics along with the truly exceptional storyline was created entirely by Gossip Goblin. We should say unfortunately, for having an opportunity to visit a real country like that could be a great adventure. Thank you Sir!