Published: 16:57, July 21, 2023 | Updated: 19:29, July 21, 2023
HK remembers Bruce Lee on 50th anniversary of his death
By Oasis Hu

A visitor takes photos of some Bruce Lee figures displayed in the exhibition "Bruce Lee: A Timeless Classic" at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum in Sha Tin on July 11, 2023. (CALVIN NG / CHINA DAILY)

People from all walks of life in Hong Kong, from government officials to city residents, commemorated the 50th anniversary of the passing of international martial arts legend Bruce Lee Siu-long on Thursday, stating that Lee remains a universal icon who transcends boundaries and eras and whose star continues to shine brighter than ever.

Born in 1940 in San Francisco and raised in Hong Kong, Lee was considered the most influential martial artist and actor of the last century, as well as a pop culture icon who bridged East and West. On July 20, 1973, Lee died at the age of 32 of cerebral edema.

A Bruce Lee statue at Hong Kong Heritage Museum in Shatin. (ANDY CHONG / CHINA DAILY)

Lee’s philosophy, the “methodless method”, or of having no structure and no limits as a way of defining structure and limit, appeals across generations and demographics, said James Durston, a movie fan and a Hong Kong-based journalist.

It is exactly this “formless form” that makes Lee such a universal icon, one that traverses boundaries and eras like few other artists of the time, Durston said. 

READ MORE: A timeless legend

A man poses for a photo in front of a statue of martial art icon Bruce Lee on the Avenue of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui. (ANDY CHONG / CHINA DAILY)

Lee was able to craft an image that was so shapeless, so water-like, to conjure his most famous phrase, that it can flow through and fit almost any mission, Durston added. 

“It’s 50 years since his passing, and if anything, Bruce Lee’s star shines brighter now than ever,” said Durston.

Lee was the first post-racial superstar, a man without a country, who transcended language and cultures, and who had an indefinable charisma that has outstripped all the other accolades you can throw his way, said Bey Logan, a Hong Kong-based film executive born in the UK.

A visitor takes a photo at an exhibition titled ‘Brue Lee GLORY 50 - Tribute to Bruce Lee: Exhibition of Shannon Ma's Art’ at Upper Deck Tai Nan in Tai Nan Street, Kowloon. (ANDY CHONG / CHINA DAILY)

A martial art enthusiast poses for a photo in front Bruce Lee’s statute on the Avenue of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui. (ANDY CHONG / CHINA DAILY)

Known for producing hit movies like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny and the documentary Jackie Chan: My Story, Logan has had a lifelong love affair with kung fu after idolizing Lee as a teenager. He authored Bruce Lee and I: A Biography and A Memoir which documents the rich history of Hong Kong cinema and lesser-known details about Lee’s life.

ALSO READ: 50 years on, Bruce Lee's legacy squares up to modern life in HK

“Kung fu films starring Lee changed the impression many foreigners had of the Chinese,” said Wong Yiu-keung, chairman of the Hong Kong-based Bruce Lee Club, which has been dedicated to preserving Lee’s memory for the past 20 years. 

Numerous activities have been launched by the government and community to commemorate Lee.

The Hong Kong Heritage Museum is hosting the Bruce Lee: A Timeless Classic exhibition, which showcases commemorative books, magazines, stamps, and artifacts about Lee from different eras. 

A visitor at the Master Illustrator - Tsui Shing On Exhibition, Bruce Lee 50th year Anniversary Exhibition at Anita Chan Lai-ling Gallery in The Fringe Club in Hong Kong. (ANDY CHONG / CHINA DAILY)

A visitor poses beside the statue of Bruce Lee at an exhibition at St. Francis Xavier's College in Tai Kok Tsui, Hong Kong. (ANDY CHONG / CHINA DAILY)

A man looks at a portrait of Bruce Lee at the ‘Brue Lee GLORY 50 - Tribute to Bruce Lee: Exhibition of Shannon Ma's Art’ exhibition at Upper Deck Tai Nan in Tai Nan Street, Kowloon.  (ANDY CHONG / CHINA DAILY)

The Hong Kong Film Archive has also re-released Bruce Lee's classic films. In addition, the Bruce Lee Foundation organized Asia’s first Bruce Lee-themed camp in Hong Kong, featuring a gallery tour, exhibitions, and workshops to introduce children to the life of Lee.

During his visit to Foshan in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area on Thursday, Secretary for Security Tang Ping-keung also made a special visit to an exhibition gallery with content about Lee to commemorate the superstar.

READ MORE: Remembering a legend

On the same day, fans from around the world and some residents gathered in front of the statue of Lee at the Avenue of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui. They placed flowers in front of the two-meter-high statue that depicts Lees’ classic move in Jeet Kune Do, taken from the last film in which he starred, the Enter the Dragon.