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Jan William Drnek: Timelapse


The TIMELAPSE exhibition presents the work of photographer Jan William Drnek, who digitised Alfons Mucha's Slav Epic and is also the author of the book Epopej. The exhibition opened in the Myslbek Shopping Gallery in Prague on 16 November 2022, and it was extended until 23 February 2023. Jan William Drnek converted the canvases of the Slav Epic with a total area of 650 m2 with a challenging technique of large-format panoramic photography and special printing techniques. At the TIMELAPSE exhibition, visitors can view two printed digitised canvases from this unique project, and they can also leaf through the book Epopej themselves for the first time. This will allow visitors to view Mucha's work in 1:1 quality, which is how you would see it in a gallery, with faithful colour reproduction.

The TIMELAPSE exhibition also offers a glimpse into other work by photographer Jan William Drnek. The Talking Glass project is a creative collaboration between designer Bořek Šípek and didgeridoo player Ondřej Smeykal, which took place in 2010. This was Drnek's first photography project in the artistic field. His photographs document the spirit and soul of the unique project in which artist Bořek Šípek, who is now sadly deceased, created a didgeridoo, an instrument associated with the Australian aborigines, from glass, elevating it to a work of art.

The next part of the TIMELAPSE exhibition takes visitors through photographs by Jan William Drnek taken in exotic parts of the planet - India, Africa and Bhutan. In the autumn of 2008, Jan William Drnek travelled to photogenic places areas of the African continent, where he took unique photographs of the landscape, animals and, last but not least, the local inhabitants. The TIMELAPSE exhibition offers a closer look at Africa with a large-format 630x300 cm photograph of Epupa Falls, transporting viewers to a vast and intricate network of waterfalls and cascades on the border of Namibia and Angola. This is complemented by portraits of one of the most interesting African tribes, the Himba, whose women are called the red beauties of black Africa. They got this nickname because of red clay that they apply all over their body and hair.

The photographs from India were taken during a photography expedition in 2013, primarily focused on photographing Indian celebrations, rituals and traditions. Jan William Drnek captured the unique atmosphere on the ghats of the sacred river Ganges, as well as the authentic life of little-known tribes in the Chhattisgarh state. He also witnessed the most fantastic festival on the planet – the holy pilgrimage of Kumbh Mela, when millions of Hindus wash away their sins in the sacred waters, thus freeing themselves from the constant cycle of rebirths.

The photographs of Jan William Drnek from the photography expedition in 2014 also offer a glimpse into the land close to heaven, the land of the thunder dragon - the mysterious Bhutan. The Kingdom of Bhutan was isolated from the outside world for centuries, which allowed it to preserve its unique culture. Jan William Drnek focused on portraits of local people, the atmosphere of Buddhist monasteries and the ethnic Paro Tschechu festival. Mask dances are central to these religious festivals.


Renowned Czech photographer and expert in the field of colour management and challenging printing techniques. The book Epopej, the most expensive Czech book that offers a unique closer look at Alfons Mucha's Slav Epic, is one of his most successful projects. His recent work primarily consists of photographs of works of art and religious architecture. He accurately captured the altar of Master Paul of Levoča and the Slovak metropolitan cathedrals in Bratislava and Košice. He and his team are now working on a narrative book about St. Vitus Cathedral. He is the author of the new official photographs of the Bohemian crown jewels. 

For more about JWD, visit jwd.cz/o-mne/


We opened the exhibition on 15 November with a vernissage presented by director and documentarist Petr Horký. The event was attended by a significant number of guests. Among the most noteworthy guests were the granddaughter of artist Alfons Mucha, Jarmila Mucha Plocková, and the great granddaughter of J. V. Myslbek, Milada Myslbeková.


Slav Epic Discussion – From the Beginning to Now

On Wednesday 8 February 2023, a discussion between the author of the book Epopej, Jan William Drnek, and his guests Jarmila Mucha Plocková and Václav Cílka, was held within the TIMELAPSE exhibition, titled SLAV EPIC: FROM THE BEGINNING TO NOW. Both guests were actively involved in the creation of the book Epopej. Their participation in the discussion offered their very interesting personal perspectives on this topic. A video recording will be made of the discussion, which will later be available for viewing online. The discussion was presented by Petr Horký, who also presented the exhibition at the vernissage in November 2022.

What people wrote about the exhibition:

Mucha, kterého nepoznáte od originálu. V Myslbeku vystavuje fotograf s vášní pro barvy
Prolistujte si nejdražší českou knihou na trhu. Na fotkách zachycuje Slovanskou epopej zblízka
Digitalizace Slovanské epopeje trvala dva roky. V knize uvidíte každý tah štětce, říká fotograf
Nová pražská výstava představuje digitalizovanou Slovanskou epopej i fotografie z cest po světě
Prolistujte si nejdražší českou knihu. Praha ukáže přefocenou Epopej
Jan William Drnek: Fotografie je malba světlem
Jak dostat Slovanskou epopej do jedné knihy? Chtělo to matematický model, pečlivé zkoumání rastru a skvělé svícení, říká fotograf Jan W. Drnek

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