Will we ever get to see a proper memorial to the person who was arguably the most influential figure in twentieth-century martial arts? Actions began last fall toward that very goal, urged on largely in part by Bruce Lee’s daughter Shannon.
Bruce’s home in Hong Kong on 41 Cumberland Road was hoped to be the site of a future museum celebrating his life and legacy; in fact there was a competition back in 2010 to gather the best suggestions for the design of the site, some of which proved to be quite elaborate –
Over 140 entries were received and even put on display with an eventual winning design being announced, but the sad truth was that the deal seemed to have been doomed from the start. Until 2008 the site had been a “Romance Hotel”, a somewhat familiar sight to Kowloon Tong residents that charges hourly rates for couples who wish to engage in … um … whatever. The present owner, a Mr. Yu Panglin, a self-professed Lee fan, wanted to make the museum a reality but ran into governmental red tape.
So now there are just random Bruce Lee fans stopping in front of the address during their pilgrimages, occasionally performing impromptu nunchaku demonstrations –
By the time the winner of the design competition was announced the project seemed to have been quietly swept under the carpet.
Of course, there’s always Bruce Lee Paradise, a museum dedicated to the martial star in mainland China –
But Shannon Lee isn’t a lady that gives up so easily.
In early November 2011 the Lee Family Foundation proposed the creation of the Bruce Lee Action Museum (BLAM) in Seattle, Washington, where Bruce had lived from the late ’50’s until the mid-’60’s and where he and son Brandon are buried.
The museum, which would preferably be built in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District, would include “personal items, writings and objects of historical significance, a meeting room, a theatre and gift shop, a café, research library and a space for temporary exhibits.”
A few fundraisers have been held, such as this one by Compound Gallery in Seattle this past April, but the projected cost of over $50 million for the block-long three-story museum ensures that the Bruce Lee Foundation has its work cut out for it.
The council is still waiting for the foundation to bring forward a viable plan, having given them until this month to do so. The council believes the creation of a Bruce Lee museum could create jobs and increase access to cultural facilities. Here’s a look at a preliminary plan –