Home » The legacy of Bruce lee carries a powerful punch

The legacy of Bruce lee carries a powerful punch

Hong Kong honors the box office phenomenon 50 years after his demise.

Fans of actor and kung fu master Bruce Lee, who perished 50 years ago in Hong Kong, will be able to visit a virtual replica of his former residence in the city by the end of this year.

Virtual reality headsets will allow admirers from all over the world to get an up-close look at their idol’s home and daily life, including the tranquil courtyard of Lee’s mansion and his cherished Mercedes-Benz with the license plate AX655.

Lee, who was born on November 27, 1940, is renowned for his artistic and martial arts accomplishments. He popularized the term “kung fu” to the extent that it became a global symbol of Chinese culture.

Born in San Francisco and nurtured in Hong Kong, he bridged the divide between the East and the West by studying martial arts and philosophy.

On July 20, 1973, Lee, age 32, died of cerebral edema, or enlargement of the brain.

His spirit continues to resonate with admirers all over the globe, including Wong Yiukeung, who is in his fifties and has been a Lee fan for approximately four decades. Wong is responsible for the virtual revival of Lee’s 2019-demolished Hong Kong residence at 41 Cumberland Road, Kowloon Tong.

Wong read magazines in elementary school that highlighted Lee’s kung fu abilities. He was instantly attracted to the celebrity and began to imitate him.

Wong frequently viewed Lee-starring films and television programs as an adolescent. In the 1990s, when Wong was in his twenties, he placed an advertisement in a magazine seeking Lee collectibles. However, instead of receiving offers of items, he received numerous responses from individuals seeking to acquire such items.

The editor-in-chief of the magazine established the Bruce Lee Club, which within a few weeks attracted hundreds of members. Wong was tasked with organizing the club and appointed as its chairman.

When the Avenue of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, opened as a new attraction in 2004, Wong repeatedly suggested that a bronze statue of Lee be erected on the site. After this concept was approved, he spent months convincing friends and celebrities to donate. The statue was completed in nine months after approximately HK$800,000 ($102,240) was received.

Four years later, when it was announced that Lee’s former mansion would be sold by its proprietor, a business magnate, Wong penned a letter to the Hong Kong government and the business magnate requesting that the property be preserved.

Wong lobbied stakeholders for the next eleven years, proposing ideas such as transforming the residence into a Bruce Lee museum. In 2019, however, due to conflicts of interest, the proprietor and the government ceased working together, and the property was demolished.

In 2019, Wong decided to digitally reconstruct the home to preserve its legacy in perpetuity in the digital realm. In November, he is prepared to launch the endeavor after four years of labor.

Wong has over 3,000 pieces of Lee memorabilia, including videotapes, books, DVDs, apparel, tiles from the actor’s former home, and slot machines from Japan bearing Lee’s image. “If I had enough space at home and at the club, I would buy more,” said Wong.

The club of Wong, which has over 600 members, has organized approximately 70 commemorative events.

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