Orbis Pictus
Petr Nikl, Jiří Wald and Radana Waldova

An interactive exhibition where kinetic movements, light, shadows and sounds are elements with which the visitor can interact.


Libuše Niklova created the plastic toys most loved by Czech children in the 1960s, and the first one to try them out at home was her son Petr Nikl. Today, those toys are a symbol of the design of that era, and her son, who has become a successful writer, painter, photographer, musician and set designer, is one of the most well-known artists of his country.

Petr Nikl, inspired by the literary works of Amos Comenius (creator in 1658 of the first illustrated children's book in history, called Orbis Pictus and of The Labyrinth of the World and The Paradise of the Heart), has created the exhibition Orbis Pictus Play in conjunction with Jiří Wald, Radana Waldova and other artists. In this exhibition, each of the exhibited works is presented as an instrument in which kinetic movements, light, shadows and sounds are elements with which the visitor can interact. The pieces are always installed differently in each city, depending on the exhibition space, creating a unique artistic set each time. And the show, in which the instruments only come to life after the audience has participated, turns into a living space for playing, acquiring another extraordinary dimension.

“The interactive exhibition Orbis Pictus Play continues the legacy of Comenius and of all those who believe in the power of creative desire in knowledge. The project is conceived as a journey, during which the visitors, both adults and young people, put mobile, visual and audio components into work, becoming aware of their interaction and participation as authors”, Petr tells us.

Shown to the public for the first time in Paris in 2006, over 3 million people have enjoyed this show and have been able to see how interaction and spontaneity are part and parcel of a language that is universal to everyone. As CNN put it: “Initiatives such as ORBIS PICTUS are very important. They motivate people to think in a new way, and to look for and invent new forms. And that is the basis of an innovative society".


Authors: Jiří and Radana Wald
Author of the artistic concept: Petr Nikl
Project manager: Lenka Váňová

Participating artists: Milan Casi, Miroslav Černý, Michael Delia, Mája Dvořáková, Ondřej Eremiáš, Luboš Fidler, Silvie Gajdošíková, Matej Gyárfáš, Oldřich Hozman, Martin Janíček, Ondřej Janoušek, Klára Kohoutová, Jiří Konvrzek, Petr Korecký, Jaroslav Kořán, Petr Lorenc, Jiří Melzer, Pavel Mrkus, Petr Nikl, Ondřej Puchta, Ueli Seiler-Hugova, Quido Sen, Ondřej Smeykal, Václav Smolka, Marianna Stránská, Čestmír Suška, Zdeněk Šmíd, Ján Turzo, Dušan Váňa, Ingrid Višňovská, Jiří Wald

11 December - 6 January

Tuesday to Friday from 5 to 8pm, and Saturdays and Sundays noon to 8pm. Closed on 24, 25 and 31 December and 1 January

Nave 11. Sala Fernando Arrabal

Free admission