Over the month of September we’ve been exploring the legend of Bruce Lee. More specifically how the legendary status of this Kung Fu Master experts a gravitational pull on any artist working with-in the Martial Arts space. For some it’s mount Rushmore for others, Everest, but perhaps more appropriately we can consider the legend of Bruce Lee among the Wuyue (五嶽) of martial arts; the 5 Great Mountains.
An aspect any artist contending with the Bruce Lee legend must face is, the master’s tragically short life as a public figure. There is very little iconography to associate with the man and his legend. Nunchucks, his signature sound, his aloha styled fists and a certain jump suit; of course. An argument could also be made for his silhouette or hair style but even then, none are as instantly recognizable as that yellow & black Jumpsuit. Just the mention of movies like Kill Bill or Shaolin Soccer should bring to mind how that color scheme acts as an iconic short-hand.
Preceding both these appearances, however, was the T-shirt design I’d pitched to TIGER CLAW INC. parent company of T.C. Media Int’l. publishers of KUNG FU TAI CHI magazine. We would market the shirt with the title Got Game? to continue our line of T-shirts which started with a play on the classic Got Milk? advertising campaign of the time. These lines of T-shirts would be met with a variety of successes; most notably, worn by the legendary Rock Star Lou Reed on a Fashion spread in the pages of Entertainment weekly.