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Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee exhibition celebrates the kung fu legend's life

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 20 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 20 July, 2013, 4:22am

The Bruce Lee legend is brought to life in a museum exhibition that opens today, the 40th anniversary of the kung fu star's passing.

His daughter Shannon, president of the Bruce Lee Foundation, said the show brought back memories of her father.

I think everyone would have preferred the old home to be turned into a museum. But since it turned out not to be possible, I'm glad at least he's being celebrated and given some sort of recognition
Shannon Lee

The exhibition, Bruce Lee: Kung Fu. Art. Life, was organised by the foundation and the Heritage Museum, where it is held.

The display - which chronicles the life of the late movie star and martial artist - came about after a plan to turn Bruce Lee's old Kowloon Tong home into a museum fell through.

"I think everyone would have preferred the old home to be turned into a museum," said Lee.

"But since it turned out not to be possible, I'm glad at least he's being celebrated and given some sort of recognition."

The exhibition in Sha Tin features more than 600 items - 400 from the foundation and the rest from individual collectors. Exhibits are displayed in various settings, including one from the movie Game of Death, which Bruce Lee was in the middle of filming when he died of acute cerebral edema at the age of 32.

Lee said she found her father's writings and drawings - which are on display - fascinating. "It's like seeing his brain working on the pieces of paper," she said.

The works include Bruce Lee's conceptual drawings of fight scenes in 1973's Enter The Dragon, notes to cha cha dance steps, and a poem.

But one was particularly special to his daughter. It was a miniature tombstone engraved with the words "In memory of a once fluid man, crammed and distorted by the classical mess".

Bruce Lee commissioned the piece when he was filming the role of Kato in the 1967 Batman television series.

"It is an epiphany of martial arts and life," said Lee. "[Others] might have thought of those [words], but not thought of memorialising [them in this way]. To me, that's a true artist."

Lee said maintaining her father's legacy gave meaning to her life. "There are responsibilities that come with that. It's a blessing," she said.

There have been other events celebrating Bruce Lee's legacy this week. Last night, his elder sister Phoebe shared memories of him on a live show. Today, fans from the Bruce Lee Club unveil the Bruce Lee Way, a trail past landmarks related to his life.

 

Video: How Bruce Lee learned to fight