ENTER THE DRAGON 1973-2008

ENTER THE DRAGON 1973-2008
Paul Wong, 2010
5:58 min., colour, stereo

ENTER THE DRAGON 1973-2008 is available in single channel for screenings and as a two-projection installation.

Two seminal moments of recent media history are presented side by side.  The closing scene from the film Enter The Dragon* starring Bruce Lee are juxtaposed with the first segment from the Opening Ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.

On the right Bruce Lee uses traditional martial arts to battle evil. On the left 2008 perfectly choreographed performers synchronize ancient drumming with new digital art forms to create “the grandest spectacle of the new millennium”. (Steven Spielberg)

These two monumental cinema and television events separated by 35 years marks an important period of decolonization.

Bruce Lee whose strong and virile film appearances both popularized the martial arts and challenged the stereotype image of the Chinese male as an emasculated *coolie.

Broadcast to a billion Chinese in China and to billions more world-wide, the opening ceremonies was the moment that China shed its image of feudalism and backward communism and re-positioned itself as a leading cultural, economic, and political force in the early 21st century.

Enter The Dragon 1973-2008 is part of ‘5 Paul Wong Projects’ commissioned by The City of Vancouver through its Olympic and Paralympic Art Program.                         www.5.paulwongprojects.com

*ENTER THE DRAGON was  the first kung fu film to be co-produced by a Hollywood studio, (Warner Bros.)  This is Bruce Lee’s final film before his untimely death just before the films release in 1973.

*coolie: historical term for manual labourers from Asia,  a contemporary racial slur.

The opening ceremony proper began with a contemporary drum sequence by 2,008 Fou drummers[21]. The LED-embedded Fou drums and their glowing drumsticks were lit up by the drummers. In formation, the drummers lit their drums to form giant digits (in both Arabic and Chinese numerals) to countdown the final seconds to the Games and herald the start of the opening time of 8:00 p.m. local time, in continuation of the 8/08/08 opening date.[22][23]

A Taijiquan performance by 2,008 Tai Chi Chuan masters[34] in white showed the fluid movements achieved when in harmony with nature.

Credits:
Footage courtesy of Bejing Olympic Opening Ceremonies 2008/Enter the Dragon 1973
Post-Production: Brian Gotro

Distributor: Paul Wong Projects

Installation, Video