TORONTO, Aug. 4, 2023 – Renowned Hong Kong sculpture master and Bruce Lee fan Mr. Chu Tat-shing, has created a life-sized statue of Bruce Lee that has never been seen before, designed explicitly for Canada. This masterpiece will be unveiled at the Art at Heart Chu Tat-shing Exhibition at the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto on August 3, 2023. Alongside this incredible tribute, the exhibition will feature a lineup of art pieces from Chu’s studio. The free admission exhibition will run from August 4 until August 13, 2023.
As one of the first Asian men to have a leading role in Hollywood, he was recognized by Time as one of the most influential people of the 20th century. As the passing of Bruce Lee marked its 50th anniversary on July 20, 2023, fans of the superstar gathered in Hong Kong to pay tribute to his life and legacy, reflecting on his philosophy of persistence. The exhibition offers an alternative to celebrate the life of Bruce Lee.
“Bruce Lee’s iconic sidekick pose resonates deeply with people. Toronto’s multiculturalism offers a unique opportunity to connect people of diverse backgrounds and generations through Asian art. I hope to encourage and foster an interest in art among these groups while emphasizing the similarities between Eastern and Western cultures,” said Mr. Chu.
In 2013, the Hong Kong Heritage Museum launched an exhibition called “Bruce Lee: Kung Fu-Art-Life,” featuring over 600 priceless items of Bruce Lee memorabilia. Mr. Chu was invited to create a tall bronze statue showing a side-kicking image of Bruce Lee. In honour of the 50th anniversary of Lee’s passing, he has crafted a new sculpture for the exhibition in Toronto. While the sculpture features different arm postures than those in the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, it incorporates Lee’s signature sidekick and carries significant symbolism.
Commemorating the Legendary Star in Hong Kong
Hong Kong was where Bruce Lee took root and became a world-famous martial artist. Visitors can see signs of his legacy scattered throughout the city, and here’s an itinerary for Bruce Lee fans to commemorate the superstar in his regarded hometown.
Avenue of Stars
Modelled on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, the storied promenade that wraps around Tsim Sha Tsui’s southern border celebrates the city’s artistic offerings and elemental aesthetics. Bruce Lee’s statue, a 2-metre likeness in bronze, occupies a prime position on the eastern portion of the promenade.
Renowned contemporary Chinese sculptor Professor Cao Chong-en, crafted the statue with artistic advice from established 3D animator Shannon Ma and famed Hong Kong film poster artist Yuen Tai Yung. The figure depicts Lee in a signature pose chosen by fans from around the world through an online poll, paying tribute to his tremendous contribution to the filmmaking industry in Hong Kong.
Tsing Shan Monastery
Enter the Dragon, the movie that propelled Bruce Lee to international stardom and spawned numerous fight clubs worldwide, was filmed at Tsing Shan Monastery in Tuen Mun. Despite Lee’s untimely death in July 1973, the movie was released soon after. It became a massive success, cementing his status as a martial arts icon. Many of Lee’s famous quotes, including “Don’t think, feel!” were featured in the film, and visitors to the monastery can see plaques and life-size cutouts of Lee, marking the exact spots where he stood during filming.
Exhibitions Celebrating the Unique Legacy of Bruce Lee
The Hong Kong Heritage Museum is honouring the memory of Bruce Lee through a series of programs from now until January 1, 2024. One of the highlights is a pop-up display titled “Bruce Lee: A Timeless Classic,” showcasing some of the finest depictions of Bruce Lee in popular culture, such as publications, commemorative stamps, and figures.
The “A Man Beyond the Ordinary: Bruce Lee” exhibition is a must-see for those seeking a deeper insight into Bruce Lee’s life and legacy. The exhibition boasts a collection of approximately 400 exhibits, including Bruce Lee memorabilia and photos, and a large-scale immersive light and sensory installation. This exhibition provides a unique opportunity for film buffs and martial arts enthusiasts to get reacquainted with one of Hong Kong’s most legendary cultural icons.
“Wing Chun” Kung Fu Experience
Any Bruce Lee fan will have a sense of the profound ties between Hong Kong and traditional Chinese martial arts. Visitors can join a Wing Chun lesson to study the basic forms of this martial art, a set of techniques taken and adapted by the Kung Fu legend and international movie star. The class at the school of Yip Man Martial Arts Association is run by Master Sam Lau, a first-generation student of Grandmaster Yip Man – Bruce Lee’s mentor.
Whether you are in Canada or planning a visit to Hong Kong, there are various ways for Bruce Lee fans to pay tribute to the martial arts legend. From gazing upon his statue and visiting the locations where he filmed his iconic movies to exploring exhibitions and taking Kung Fu lessons, visitors can fully immerse themselves in Bruce Lee’s legacy and gain a deep appreciation of his life and cultural impact. Hong Kong takes pride in its association with Bruce Lee, and his influence continues to inspire a new generation of martial artists and film enthusiasts.