Many lion dancers from the late ‘90s to about ’05 have probably heard of his name. He is the youthful, paparazzi-chased, and handsome creator of probably the largest lion dance resource website on the internet – Lions Cave
Around the time when I first started lion dancing, I came across the Lions Cave website while surfing the internet. I couldn’t believe it; there was so much information about lion dancing that I’ve never known. At the time, the internet wasn’t as well developed as it is now. Communication between large numbers of people occurred through mailing lists that worked using email addresses. I still remember the ecstatic feeling running through me when a new response from the mailing list arrived to my email inbox. Oh, the memories…
I’ve always known of Chris, but haven’t met him in person until this past Saturday. We’re usually at different parts of California, so it wasn’t likely that I would magically bump into him. But after confirming my acceptance letter to UCLA last year, I realized it was finally possible to meet him in person. After all, who wouldn’t want to know a stud like him?
Last year, he took on a restoration project of an old Luo An style lion head. I was excited when I heard about this project because Luo An style lion heads were some of the most beautifully crafted pieces of art from Hong Kong. After one long year of hard work, he finished the project just in time for the New Year.
Chris invited me to the Hoi Gong ceremony for his newly finished project. This was my chance to meet the celebrity! Anyway, the lion was dotted at one of the Immortal’s performances. It was danced by two of the younger team members, and the honor of dotting was done by Marty Chiu, the original donator of the lion.
I arrived at the location about the same time that Chris did. As I walked toward him with excitement, I saw the expression that he recognized me! After the handshakes and small talk, he went to set up the performance. The Hoi Gong ceremony was nice and simple – red paint substitutes the cinnabar/chicken blood, artificial green onions and golden flowers adorn the horn, and the red ribbon ties it all together around the horn. Unfortunately, the ribbon wasn’t tight enough and the adornments weren’t affixed well. Many of the attached items came loose immediately after the lion awakened. The show still went on though! After the lion cleaned itself, it ate its first meal consisting of lettuce and a red envelope. The ceremony ended with the new lion greeting some older lions from the Immortals.
I’m glad I was there to witness the whole ceremony. Well done on the lion, Chris!