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Ping Pong Retrospective

A Ping Pong Retrospective: 1500 Photographs by Wing Young Huie

Ping with Wing! See 1500 photos that span 35 years by photographer Wing Young Huie—all in one night while batting glow-in-the-dark balls with friends and strangers. This re-imagines your old-fashioned slide show in the living room coupled with basement-style ping-pong, except the living room-basement is an outdoor lot in the West Bank near the University of Minnesota, one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the Twin Cities.

There will be six to eight ping-pong tables, with organized mini-tournaments as well as open tables for spontaneous pick-up games. Card tables will also be available for card or board games. Some food will be available, but all are encouraged to bring a dish for a potluck style picnic!

This unique retrospective is a culmination of more than a dozen projects that document the dizzying everyday socioeconomic and cultural realities of our changing cultural landscape, including the well-known public installations: Frogtown (1995), Lake Street USA (2000) and The University Avenue Project (2010), all of which transformed major urban areas into photographic galleries.

A Ping Pong Retrospective further explores the impacts of revealing the private lives of thousands of citizens in a public, celebratory fashion. This project furthers the participatory concepts of past projects by encouraging playful engagement, redefining an empty urban lot into a communal space that is part theater, town square, and rec room.

There are, of course, already thousands of photographs visible in the area (a recent study stated that 10 – 20,000 images a day are seen publicly in an average metropolitan area), but how many of those countless marketing, media, and pop culture realities that we consume on a daily basis really mirror all of us looking at them?

How much of all that whitewashed, Photoshop imagery forms what we think of each other and ourselves? Do we in fact become what we see? And how much does all of this contribute, or drive, our fears of each other, as we retreat daily into our insulated technological bubbles? This exhibition intends to link visually and socially an area that is publicly perceived as culturally disparate.

Wing Young Huie

Wing Young Huie is an award-winning photographer who has received international attention for his many projects that document the changing cultural landscape of his home state Minnesota. Whether in epic public installations or major museum exhibitions, Wing creates up-to-the-minute societal mirrors of who we are, seeking to reveal not only what is hidden, but also what is plainly visible and seldom noticed. His most recent work is “The University Avenue Project: The Language of Urbanism—A Six-Mile Photographic Inquiry.”

Wing was named Artist of the Year by the Minneapolis Star Tribune in 2000; his five published books are Frogtown: Photographs and Conversation in an Urban Neighborhood (1996), Lake Street USA (2001), 9 Months in America: An Ethnocentric Tour (2007), The University Avenue Project, Volume 1 (2010), and The University Avenue Project, Volume 2 (2010).