Tripping out to Hongqiao to explore Jackie Chan's fractured subconscious at his brand new museum. Sharks, knives, and guns on deck.
I first saw Jackie Chan in Rumble In The Bronx
as a kid and thought he was the coolest. Then I moved to China and saw him in like 900 different commercials for cameras, hair-loss treatment shampoo, and video game systems, and thought he was a sellout. People who work with him say he's crazy about the environment and insists on eating with all his colleagues, although he could take a private bath in crab meat, champagne, and courtesans every day if he wanted. Other rumors say he's a womanizer, and a neglectful father.
Jackie Chan is a complex character.
His son Jaycee Chan recently got arrested for possessing
over 100 grams of marijuana in Beijing, and may face three years in Chinese prison. I assume the Chan family will have a lot of legal bills, so I decided to help by throwing down 150rmb on a ticket to the new Jackie Chan Museum
in Hongqiao. I lost my virginity after taking my date to Rush Hour 2
, so this is the least I can do. True story.
Let's go on a journey to the West, where there be dragons. And Koreans, and Japanese supermarkets. I'm talking about Hongqiao.
Before entering the Jackie Chan Museum, we find two mythical characters in the parking lot.
Yes it's Doumu, THE MOTHER OF ALL BEANS. She will protect us on our journey.
And this pig, who looks more blazed than your parents at a Doobie Brothers concert. Think he's been hanging out with Jackie Chan's son. This is some smoked ham!
So a ticket to the museum is 150rmb, but you can get a student or elderly discount which brings the total to 72rmb. I can pass for both, so I saved 70rmb. After entering, you get to watch a short video of Jackie introducing you to his new museum. He sure can say "hello" in a lot of languages. This reassures us that this is indeed a real Jackie Chan Museum. After that, boom, we're right into the action.
Jackie Chan doesn't do subtle. So if you think museums are boring or stupid, this is the place for you. The action doesn't stop. There's so much stuff. It's like taking a trip to a garage sale held in the deep recesses of Jackie Chan's fractured subconscious. It's like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind that's Been Doing It's Own Stunt Work For Too Long.
Shit is about to get even crazier, we're going to need some heat.
"...I got my twelve gauge sawed off.
I got my headlights turned off.
I'm 'bout to bust some shots off.
I'm 'bout to dust some cops off..."
- Ice-T, "Cop Killer", which came out just a few years after Jackie's Police Story
Or just some knives and other classic weapons if that's more your steez.
The first of many villains we met on this journey. These are some objects that feature pretty heavily in the montage scenes of Jackie Chan movies. Perhaps his life is like one big long montage scene, even.
If M1NT's taught us anything, sharks amp up the coolness of the scene by about 90000 percent.
Hey remember that movie where Jackie played a mentally challenged police officer? Me either.
Did Jackie Chan play that Asian girl's father in Gleaming The Cube
? This limited edition single-kick BubbleYum radmobile has rails on the bottom.
Now we enter what I like to call "The Hall of Ass Jackie Has Probably Tapped."
You've got selections like all of The Wonder Girls and a bunch of Asian celebrities who I can't name. And here he's mixing it up with some white women.
BARBARA WALTERS??? How did you get in here???
Apparently he collects hair from them too, which is a little odd. Laying down a weird vibe here with this one, Jackie.
So is it worth the 150rmb admission if you can't pass as a university student or an elderly person? Hmmmmm.....
Really a lot of complex emotions about this museum.
But you do get one kuai back, to put in this whirly charity machine that donates money to birds or pandas or court cases or something.
Overall, not a bad trip to Hongqiao. If you're a big Jackie Chan fan, it's maybe worth the 150rmb admission price. If not, you might be better off just re-watching some classics. When we went, we were the only ones there aside from a large tour group who finished just as we arrived. There wasn't even anyone working in the museum area, so we just made our own path and crawled through air ducts, shot guns, killed bad guys, jumped through glass windows, got head injuries, philandered with A- and B-list celebrities, and just wandered around the shattered psyche of the man they call Jackie Chan.
The Jackie Chan Museum is located at 78 Yunling Dong Lu, near Daduhe Lu, a quick cab ride from the Loshanguan Lu metro station on Line 2. It's open daily from 10am–6pm. Full listing here.
All photos by Anna Perez.