Guest Author - Caroline Chen-Whatley
It's hard to think about Martial Arts without thinking about Bruce Lee. He is such an icon that he was able to transcend many boundaries of his time to become a star. And even beyond his death, he has continued to be the symbol that people hold dear with they speak about Martial Arts and Martial Arts stars.
Groups have tried to honor his legacy for years. In Hong Kong, his hometown, they have erected his statue along the waterfront. But that seemed like such a small token for such a powerful figure.
Two years ago, there was great excitement as the Hong Kong government announced they had come to agreements with the current owner of Bruce Lee's former residence to transform the two-story home into a museum. This seemed like the answer to all Bruce Lee fans internationally. As plans were drawn out and details worked out, efforts globally began to start to collect material to place within the museum. Even Bruce's daughter, Shannon, was involved.
Just this past month, July 2011, sad news struck as the press announced that talks have broken down between the government and the owner. Reports from the Hong Kong Bruce Lee Fan Club cite issues with unreasonable requests on the part of the current owner to the final design of the museum.
Efforts in Seattle, Washington seemed to have gone quiet as well. In 2008, the Bruce Lee Foundation had announced the plans for the Bruce Lee Action Museum (BLAM). The vision for the museum was to be more than just a tribute to Bruce Lee's Martial Arts or movies; the museum would speak to Bruce Lee's message, which was a call to action. In this time of turmoil and trouble, such an inspiration would be much welcomed.
Perhaps with the stall in plans in Hong Kong, other plans such as the Seattle BLAM, can find energy again to push forward. Meanwhile, dedicated fans will have to contend themselves to seeing many of the items collected for the Hong Kong museum at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum scheduled to launch in 2012. There continues to be the World of Bruce Lee Museum in Hollywood, California. There are some reports of efforts in Fayetteville, Arkansas to put a museum together to house some memorabilia from the late star. And finally, the grave sites of both Bruce Lee and his son Brandon Lee in Seattle, Washington still see many visitors each year.