PPF Group sponsors cultural projects
The PPF investment group was one of the first privately held corporations in the Czech Republic to launch systematic support for the arts in the early 1990s, when it was first established; this move helped to rescue some unique art projects and works of art. The PPF investment group continues to operate in the Czech Republic.
From a cultural perspective, PPF’s support mainly focuses on visual arts. Its PPF Art subsidiary manages a unique collection of Czechoslovak and Czech photography, which also includes an extensive set of photographs authored by the globally acclaimed Czech photographer Josef Sudek. PPF also operates an art gallery bearing his name, the Josef Sudek Studio located in Prague-Újezd, which PPF has helped to restore. PPF also operates the Václav Špála Gallery, a major Prague art gallery specialising in contemporary art.
In 2014, PPF Group bought 270 works of art from Česká pojišťovna’s collection, most of them pictures that have become the basis for a new visual arts collection. It includes the works of Alois Bubák, Alfons Mucha, Maxmilián Pirner, Jakub Schikaneder, Luděk Marold, Mikuláš Medek, Joža Úprka, August Piepenhagen and Antonín Procházka, and some contemporary painters such as Ivan Ouhela, Jiří Sopek, Tomáš Císařovský, Petr Nikl and Jan Merta.
PPF Art also produces thematic publications on visual arts, which are associated with the collection and with exhibitions that are currently organised. For example, Zemská fotografie [Land’s Photography] authored by Lukáš Jasanský and Martin Polák, the Privatissima publication dedicated to Josef Sudek’s photographs, and Antologie české fotografie (ze sbírky skupiny PPF) [An Anthology of Czech Photography (from PPF Group’s Collection)] have their roots in this policy.
PPF Art also helps to promote and popularise art through its cooperation with other galleries and institutions (for example, the Zdeněk Sklenář Gallery and the Czech China Chamber) and through lending works of art for exhibitions in the Czech Republic and other countries.
The other art projects that PPF Group sponsors in the Czech Republic include Divadlo Járy Cimrmana [Jára Cimrman’s Theatre] in Prague and Letní shakespearovské slavnosti [The Summer Shakespeare Festival] that takes place at the Prague Castle and in other Czech and Slovak cities every year.
In late 2014, PPF Group made available several stringed instruments for the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Four exclusive musical instruments, worth a total of CZK 15 million, have enriched the orchestra’s sound thanks to PPF: a Giovanni Maria Valenzano violin from 1825 and a Pietro Messori violin from 1924, an Ettore Soffritti viola from 1927, and a cello built by Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, an illustrious French luthier, from 1844.
Hand-in-hand with its business activities, PPF Group also helps to promote Czech art in China and Chinese art in the Czech Republic. It participated in the Peking-Praha, Nový pohled na současné čínské umění [Beijing-Prague, A New View of Contemporary Chinese Art] held in Císařská konírna in Prague in 2013, where during the fringe programme it auctioned off some works created by Czech-Chinese pairs of artists (Jan Pištěk-Feng Zhengjie and Petr Písařík-Yang Xun). The proceeds from the auction, amounting to one million crowns, were distributed to hospitals in Prague and Beijing. At the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014, PPF organised the Prague Summer exhibition of the works of a well-known Chinese artist, Wu Yi, in the Václav Špála Gallery.
In Beijing, People’s Republic of China, PPF Group has sponsored or will sponsor exhibitions such as František Kupka, Člověk a země [František Kupka, Man and the Earth] (National Art Museum of China, 2005), Federico Díaz, The Welded Ornament of the Times (Central Academy of Fine Arts), and Karel Malich and Federico Díaz (Museum of Contemporary Art Chengdu, 2015).
In conjunction with this, in Prague, PPF has supported or will support exhibitions of one of the most prominent Chinese artists, Zhang Xiaogang, called Slivoň a dívka [A Plum Tree and a Girl] at the Zdeněk Sklenář Gallery in 2015 and at the National Gallery in 2016. An exhibition of photographs by the talented student Junsheng Zhou will be held at the Josef Sudek Studio in 2015.