Slav Epic VR portrays a historical moment frozen in time, whisking viewers beyond the walls of the museum and into the vivid world of twenty epic canvases. Supported by the Mucha Foundation, this immersive VR experience is currently on display at the National Palace Museum in Taiwan until May 26, 2020.
The exhibition offers a rare lens into the emotional depth of Czech painter Alphonse Mucha, one of the twentieth century’s most important artists. While traveling through Russia, Poland, and the Balkans in the 1900s, he devoted the latter half of his life to depicting the momentous history of Czechs and other Slavic civilizations through a series of 20 large canvases that later became known as the Slav Epic. However, during World War II, the entire project was wrapped and hidden away to prevent seizure by Nazi Germany.
Today, the Slav Epic VR brings the physical and virtual worlds together and captures the delicate craftsmanship of Mucha’s masterpiece. While donning a virtual reality headset, viewers can plunge into a battlefield and hear the civilians caught in the crossfire as a battle rages in the distance. In another vignette, soldiers slowly mount the hills nearby, as an ancient Slavic deity floats in mid-air. The unique experience culminates in a scene depicting their triumphant victory of the Slavs who ultimately reclaimed their ancestral homelands in 1918. With the support of HTC VIVE Arts, the Mucha Foundation collaborated with creative studio Nexus Studios in leveraging interactive media to create this layered experience.