A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting the Bruce Lee Exhibition at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum in Shatin. Not faraway from the Shatin mtr station, the exhibition is a pure delight to visit. Having being a fan of the kungfu legend for a fair few years now and also studying Hung Gar as a teenager myself, this was the perfect way to explore more into the life of the martial arts guru.
Bruce Lee is most notably famous for his movies, ‘Enter the dragon’, ‘Fist of Fury’, ‘Game of death’ and so on. His movies are legendary in the martial arts world and also in the western film industry. But this exhibition didn’t only talk about his life as a kungfu star, it also delved into his personal life, such as life before film and television, his life growing up in Hong Kong. I don’t think Hong Kong have done very much to preserve his legacy, and apart from the statue on the avenue of stars, nobody really talks about the actor.
The exhibition shows never before seen photographs of his childhood and pictures of him with his Sifi Ip Man. Having lived in Hong Kong now for nearly two years myself, I will later on take the opportunity to visit some of the places where Bruce Lee trained in Kungfu. I know of some of the locations is in Yau Ma Tei and Prince Edward.
There are many different types of kungfu but Bruce Lee trained mostly in wing chun. This is a very patient art and most people cannot bear the long training periods and also understand the moves behind the forms. It cannot be learnt in a week, it takes time, a very long time for you to perfect this style. It’s not only beneficial for the physical well being but also exploring the mental well being. I guess you can say that Kungfu is a way of life. If you wish to study wing chun please take this into consideration.
The exhibition showed candid shots of his parents, his siblings and childhood friends. His father was the famous Lee Hoi Chuen – a Chinese opera star. It shows pictures of Bruce on set with his father. The exhibit also hosts a replica of the yellow jumpsuit that he wore in the famous fight scene in ‘Enter the dragon’. I would have loved to of taken a photograph of it. But the security prevented it!
After walking through the exhibition, you have the option of watching the 1.5 hour documentary about his life, featuring interviews of his wife Linda, daughter Shannon, brother Robert and fellow friends and work colleagues. It was incredibly insightful and also left the viewer with a little bit more knowledge of Bruce Lee and his passion. It was so sacred what Bruce Lee did for the martial arts world but also for Hong Kong. In my opinion, he really placed Hong Kong on the map and highlighted this wonderful art. I would definitely recommend for everyone to visit this exhibition and I guarantee that when you leave, you will take a little but of Bruce Lee with you, I know I did.
Museum website – http://www.heritagemuseum.gov.hk/eng/exhibitions/exhibition_details.aspx?exid=209
* Photographs credited to: Daily Mail, Info Gov, Artwise, English CNTV.