Ping Pong Mao Tournament

The Queens Museum is presenting the first US survey of the art of China-born, Queens-based artist Zhang Hongtu. He left China in 1982 to find greater artistic freedom and is perhaps best known for his Material Mao series, which presents Mao as appearing everywhere— and yet, as a negative form, nowhere at all. Ping-Pong Mao (1995, Mixed media installation, 30 x 60 x 108 inches, pictured above) has also been discussed as a reminder of the narrow line one must tread in the Chinese political climate.

The artist has said “If you stare at a red shape for a long time, when you turn away, your retina will hold the image but you will see a green version of the same shape. In the same way, when I lived in China, I saw the positive image of Mao so many times that my mind now holds a negative image of Mao. In my art I am transferring this psychological feeling to a physical object…Sometimes the hole in my work might remind you of the Nothingness of Taoism or the negative space of traditional Chinese ink painting, but the visual inspiration of my work comes directly from a bagel.”

We invite non-professional table tennis players to participate in a one-day tournament played on this special table, which will be on view during the entire exhibition October 18 – February 28, 2015.

Tahl Leibovitz, Courtesty of ITTF.

Tahl Leibovitz, Courtesty of ITTF.

The Master of Ceremonies will be Tahl Leibovitz, a Paralympic Gold Medalist who has been inducted in to the USA Table Tennis Hall of Fame. In May of 2015 Tahl Completed a Master of Social Work from New York University Silver School of Social Work.  Prior to that, he earned three degrees between2010 and 2011 from Queens College (CUNY): A masters degree in Urban Studies, A bachelor’s degree in sociology and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy.  Tahl also enjoys writing and recently completed a table tennis mental guidebook entitled Ping Pong For Fighters.

Grand Prize: $100 gift card and custom award certificate.

Playing Format: Single elimination tournament starting with 16 contestants playing best 2/3 games reaching 11points with a 2 point spread, and we will move to best 3/5 in future rounds as soon as we can, given time. Final match will be best  3 of 5 games.  Tahl Liebovitz will be creating the draw, explaining the rules/format of the contest and will be umpiring.

12-130pm: Registration & Warm Up/Free Play 

130pm: Introductory Remarks by Zhang Hongtu and Tahl Leibovitz

1:45-5pm Tournament

To register for the tournament please email with your name, telephone number, mailing address, email address, age, number of years playing table tennis or leave a voicemail with the above information at 718-592-9700 x222.

Feature Photo by Hai Zhang