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Interview with Gordon Liu
Gordon Liu and his martial's background 1/1 - Page 1
Author(s) : Bastian Meiresonne
Arnaud Lanuque
Date : 24/12/2004
Type(s) : Interview
 Intext Links  
People :
Jackie Chan
Lau Kar Leung
Jet Li
Gordon Liu Chia Hui
Movies :
The 36th Chamber Of Shaolin
Lexic :
Lin Shi-rong / Lam Sai-wing
San Te/San De/San Tok
Shaolin Temple
Wing Chun
Wong Fei-hong
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Page 2 : Gordon Liu and 36th Chamber of Shaolin

Interview with Gordon Liu Chia-hui (aka Lau Kar-fai)

Gordon Liu is a living legend as well as a great man. Smiling, confident and wistful, he has the same aura as the character of Wong Fei-hong. He's a man surprisingly sweet and thoughtful, but sharp. A perfectly preserved body;

A short display of his talents on stage during the Deauville Film festival, where the 36 th Chamber of Shaolin trilogy was presented, showed his martial art skills. He gave the impression of great talent wasted by time; he arrived at the very moment of the decline of the kung-fu movie genre. At least he did not sell off his talent in obscures American productions [yet], the way did Jackie Chan orJet Li in the past few years.

Met in the noisy VIP Lounge of Deauville and accompanied by a sympathetic translator, but totally novice to martial arts and cinema, we could not unfortunately ask the 1001 questions we had prepared for him. But what a memory!

Kung Fu et Hung Gar

HKCinemagic.com : You are considered as a descendant of the great Shaolin Masters, because of your master, Liu Zhan, was himself a disciple of Lin Shirong, himself a disciple of Wong Fei-hong. Does this give you the feeling of being the only heir of a hundred-year old legacy, philosophy and martial arts?

Gordon Liu : We can't say that. There are so many schools and forms of martial arts derived from the Shaolin schools. One could define me as descendant of the Hung Gar school, but not from the Shaolin school.

[ Editor's note : Located in the Henan province, on one of the 5 sacred Mountains of China – the Mount Song – the Shaolin temple (meaning little forest) has perpetuated since 495 traditional Chinese martial arts.]

HKCM : How Shaolin Kung-fu is perceived nowadays in China ?

GL : Nowadays, lots of people know Shaolin well, thanks to the movies. Before that, very few people had heard about it, especially before the opening of mainland China 's borders and the apparition of the movies in the 70s. Today, everybody thinks that Kung fu is only from Shaolin, which is not true; there are many Kung fu styles completely different. But it doesn't really matter; the important thing is that the Kung fu culture got to be more and more recognized.

[ Editors's note : The worldwide success of the 36th chamber of Shaolin triggered the production of a great number of Kung fu flicks , with “Shaolin” as part of the title]

HKCM : Hung Gar is your speciality. It is a Kung fu form that advocates sweetness and toughness at the same time, isn't it?

GL : Hung Gar is a very difficult martial art to learn. Why did I choose this martial art rather than another? Because I like practicing difficult things! And because after learning it, it's easier to learn other martial arts or to bear other difficult things. Starting with the most difficult will make other things sweet in comparison.

[ Editor's note : Hung Gar  was a fighting style created at the 17th century under the Qin Dynasty in Southern China and to oppose Manchu invaders.]

HKCM : Do you think that kung fu films haven't paid enough tributes to Hung Gar. It's a less spectacular form than other martial arts such as Taekwondo or Wing Chun after all?
GL : Every form of kung fu possesses its own advantages. Concerning their cinematographic representations, only direction of choreographies matters. Hung Gar is a peaceful form of Kung Fu. Under the direction of my master, Lau Kar Leung, who knew perfectly this martial art and was used to direct me, Hung Gar's representation is perfect. Regarding the presentation of Kung Fu on screen, this really depends on the realisation of the choreographies.

HKCM : Is “The 36th Chamber of Shaolin ” the perfect representative of this idea?

GL : (laughs) Yes!

Monk San De
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Page 2 : Gordon Liu and 36th Chamber of Shaolin

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