Enter the dragon - the wax dragon

Updated: 2014-08-14 02:13

By Amy He in New York(China Daily USA)

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Martial arts film icon Bruce Lee made his Times Square debut in New York — in the form of wax.

A likeness of the kungfu legend was unveiled today at Madame Tussauds wax museum in midtown Manhattan, where it will be on display until the end of the summer.

“We are excited to honor Bruce Lee and his legacy today by welcoming him to Madame Tussauds New York for the very first time,” said Bret Pidgeon, regional general manager of Madam Tussauds New York, at a ceremony on Wednesday.

The Lee figure was brought over from Madame Tussauds Shanghai at the request of visitors, who are routinely asked by the museum for feedback on who they would like to see added to the museum, and many visitors had requested Lee, Pidgeon told China Daily.

“At Madame Tussauds New York, we love to offer what our guests are asking for, so a lot of people have requested to see Bruce Lee,” he said. “And we had him and some of our other attractions around the world, and we thought it’d be a great opportunity to bring him into our new film experience here at Madame Tussauds New York.”

Pidgeon said “that people can come up and pose next to him and have that action experience and are able to do that with a legend like Bruce Lee.”

The Hong Kong film star’s likeness was introduced by Steve Barclay, the new director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office of New York, who called the attraction a good starting point for people who may want to visit Hong Kong to see the five-year-long exhibition about Lee’s life and career at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum.

“Lee even made an impact in my small town in the middle of nowhere in England. I mean, if you can make it there, you’ve already made it everywhere,” Barclay said at the unveiling.

“When I travel the world and I ask people what they think of when they hear the words ‘Hong Kong’, Bruce Lee is always one of the things that people mention, even years after his death. He’s such an iconic figure and it’s wonderful that this is being reflected in such an important city like New York,” Barclay told China Daily.

Bruce Lee was born in San Francisco’s Chinatown but moved to Hong Kong, where he grew up in the Kowloon region. His involvement in martial arts and US film in the 1970s brought about a wave of interest in Hong Kong cinema and Chinese martial arts in the US.

In America, Lee is best known for his role in martial arts action films such as Way of the Dragon, Fist of Fury and Enter the Dragon. Lee’s wax statue is dressed in his iconic yellow jumpsuit from his role in Game of Death.

Lee is not the first Chinese celebrity to make an appearance at Madame Tussauds New York — former NBA star Yao Ming is part of the museum’s permanent collection and martial arts movie star Jackie Chan was recently featured in a temporary exhibit.

Enter the dragon - the wax dragon
The wax figure of famous martial artist and Hollywood icon Bruce Lee was unveiled in New York on Tuesday. It will be on display until the end of August. [Amy He/China Daily]