Do You Know Bruce? Only North American Bruce Lee Exhibit Opens in Seattle

From the "Do You Know Bruce" exhibit.

Seattle’s Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience (The Wing) is home to the only North American Bruce Lee Exhibit and is now open to the public. The opening ceremony on Saturday included welcome speeches by Bruce Lee’s widow Linda Lee Cadwell and his daughter Shannon Lee.

A traditional lion dance was performed outside, apparently the biggest ever in Seattle, with all the local lion dance teams joining forces for the special occasion.

Visitors to the exhibit will learn about who Bruce Lee was before his film career and Seattle’s early influence on the global icon.

Bruce Lee continues to influence many with his philosophy. During his career he transformed media perceptions of Chinese male stereotypes with his films, insisting on playing roles of real people rather than caricatures. But the Do You Know Bruce? exhibit is to show that there’s more to Bruce than you think.

More than just an action star, Bruce Lee broke barriers, defied stereotypes and inspired generations after him. He embraced his mixed race (his mother was half-Chinese and half-Caucasian), defied martial arts tradition by instructing students of all races, and challenged convention with his interracial marriage.

Bruce Lee’s roots are in Seattle. It’s where he went to college, met his wife, started his martial arts schools, and where he knew he had loyal friends.

The exhibit – filled with multi-media displays, personal belongings and collector memorabilia related to Bruce Lee’s time in Seattle and the Chinatown-International District – is a window into Bruce Lee’s life in Seattle during a time of obstacles and sacrifices.

Items like his handwritten poems showcase his relationship with Linda and his family, his global influence and legacy, and his martial arts. You’ll learn about his job at the legendary Ruby Chow’s Restaurant, his first martial arts studio, his philosophy studies, and his relationship with Linda Lee, who was also from the Pacific Northwest.

A Smithsonian Affiliate, National Park Service Affiliated Area, and the only pan-Asian Pacific American museum in the nation, The Wing is in a uniquely positioned to tell the story of Bruce Lee. The Do You Know Bruce? exhibit also features text panels written by national blogger Phil Yu (aka Angry Asian Man).

The exhibit will run for three years with a new theme and select items changed each year. Bruce Lee Neighborhood tours will be available starting in November, and private/school tours of the Bruce Lee exhibit and neighborhood tours can be booked by contacting the museum.