This post is to introduce magicians and magic fanatics to the rich background of magic in Singapore. It honours the notable achievements, prominence and importance of regional magicians from the past and present.
The commencing of Present day Magic in Singapore
It is the basic consensus that contemporary magic in Singapore (post World War 2) commenced with the late-Ng Bo
Oen AKA The Great Wong. Info on regional magic pre-war is really scarce. The only info identified has been on The Fantastic Wong carrying out at the New Globe Amusement Park (then situated at Kitchener Road) in the thirties.
The Great Wong was born in 1908 in Shanton, a town of the Guangdong Province, China and immigrated to Singapore in 1933. He was the only expert magician of his time in Singapore and performed throughout South East Asia. He was identified for his sharp phase magic, Linking Rings routine and Sword Basket illusion. He was also an expert craftsman who constructed all of his props by hand. He experienced the reward of figuring out the mechanics and methodology of magic props and fabricating them from scratch.
In 1962, The Fantastic Wong manufactured a important contribution to the international magic group by publishing his renowned linking rings schedule with English script composed by Tudor Brock. Davenports Magic in London distributes his manuscript to date. In 1982, he was invited by the Federation Internationale des Societes Magiques (FISM) to perform at the fifteenth Entire world Congree of Magic in Lausanne, Switzerland.
(For a lot more data on The Excellent Wong refer to ‘The Great Wong Story’ in The Intercontinental Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring one hundred fifteen The Quantum Ring Golden Jubilee Problem)
Another regional magician who was instrumental in increasing modern magic in Singapore for the duration of the starting was the late-Tan Hock Chuan. He was a teacher by profession but carried out for yearly unique events, charity displays and non-public get-togethers. He was (and even now is) internationally recognized for his magical innovations. His results and tips are nevertheless promoted seller things nowadays and have been revealed in many publications (of that time) such as Gen, Spinx, Pentagram, New Pentagram, Swami Mantra, Abracadabra and even Tarbell’s Course in Magic. He is the very first Asian magician to receive the Spinx Award (1936-37)
Equally The Great Wong and Tan Hock Chuan were critical influences to many of the initial technology of Singapore modern day-magicians who have paved the way for potential generations.
It was only following the war and during the British Armed forces Administration that magic in Singapore started its rise to where it is today. 1950 was the yr that the Singapore Magician’s Club was formed by a team of amateur magicians, comprising of English-educated professionals.
In 1951 the Singapore Magician’s Club received their constitution from The Intercontinental Brotherhood of Magicians HQ in The usa and was from then on was formally acknowledged as The International Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring one hundred fifteen. Founding users of the club at that time provided Tan Ewe Chee (President), Yeo Quickly Kian, Lim Kim Tian, Lim Hap Hin, J.H Stafford, L.A Joseph, J.W Jackson (Vice-President) and Tan Hock Chuan (Secretary).
The 50’s gave beginning to Singapore’s 1st generation of modern magicians. Aside from the founding customers of the IBM Ring and The Fantastic Wong (who joined the Ring in 1952 by invitation), some notable very first technology magicians integrated Lim Hap Hin, Tan Choon Tee, Tan Bah Chee, Yeo Quickly Kian and his pupil Michael Lim.
The Wonderful Wong operated the 1st magic shop from his house cum showroom/ workshop in Singapore at 255-A Jalan Besar exactly where he offered his personal handcrafted props as well as imported dealer products from Japan. (This home/ store was ruined in a hearth in Dec 1988 creating him to lose most of his guides and props)
Throughout this period of time, magicians like The Fantastic Wong, Tan Bah Chee, Lim Hap Hin and Tan Choon Tee carried out magic programs at the National Theatre Club and the YMCA. They were liable for producing lively magicians this sort of as Charles Choo, Wong Fok Choy, Chia Hearn Jiang, Gwee Thiam Hock and the late-Vijeyacone.
The early 60s also saw the ‘Golden Age’ of magic with magicians carrying out at various venues across the nation. Apart from neighborhood magicians performing in evening golf equipment, international magicians this kind of as Socar performed a grand illusion show to a entire home at the Capitol Theatre (alongside Stamford Street) and The Great Nicholas at the Sky Theater in The Great Entire world Amusement Park at Kim Seng Highway (Now, Wonderful Globe City).
In the late 60s, Wee Peng Guan (Uncle of Charles Choo), opened the 2nd magic store in Singapore at a store home together Robinson Road. All around that time, well-known entertainer Victor Khoo’s father Khoo Teng Heng who was a magician, a ventriloquist and hypnotist opened his magic shop at Bras Basah. (exactly where Carlton Resort stands at the moment).
In the course of this 10 years, Tan Choon Tee was generating a name for himself in the global magic local community in the area of Mentalism. He received a number of intercontinental Linking Ring Awards for his A single-Guy Parades and has two publications published by Micky Hades. He was also a standard contributor to numerous international magic journals these kinds of as Gen, New Pentagram, Magicgram, Magicana and The Linking Ring.
Abroad magicians whom handed by means of Singapore included Milo & Roger, Milbourne Christopher and Maurice Fogel.
The nineteen seventies saw the start of the second technology of Singapore magicians. Some properly-acknowledged magicians who acquired began for the duration of this time integrated The Wonderful Wong’s son Ng Kee Chee, John Teo, Tang Sai Thong, Ng Seow Kiat, Tang Yeng Enjoyable, Bob Chua, Eric Leong, Tan Teck Seng, Lawrence Tham, Tan Tuan Seng, Lawrence Khong and Andrew Kong.
The Singapore Association of Magicians was founded on 10 March 1973 in helpful ‘rivalry’ to the IBM Ring. The club was led by Tan Bah Chee with well known founding members such as Lim Hap Hin, Tan Hock Chuan and Charles Choo.
Magic stores in Singapore began to spring up throughout the late seventies. Ng Kee Chee established up a magic stall at Yaohan in Plaza Singapura and Wang Leng opened his store in Peninsula Plaza. Charles Choo opened his store in August 1978 on the sixth floor of Considerably East Shopping Centre. (It would move many occasions to numerous malls but at some point returned back again to Considerably East). His store would shortly turn out to be an establishment exactly where magicians would buy a variety of magic products as nicely as meet up and find out from every single other.
It was a assortment haunt for a lot of magicians in the years to come until the store closed in the new millennium.
For manifestation magic review of this period of time, The Tropicana Night time Club, which was situated at Pacific Plaza, was a venue that had normal magic performances. A number of well-known magicians also visited Singapore in the 70s. In 1970, John Calvert carried out at the Nationwide Theatre. In 1972, Albert Goshman frequented Ring a hundred and fifteen to give a lecture. In that exact same yr, “The Professor” Dai Vernon also frequented Singapore, lectured and interacted with nearby magicians. Other checking out magicians included Andre Kole, Billy McComb, and Ali Bongo.
By the nineteen eighties, the neighborhood magic scene was flourishing with healthy memberships for the two main magic golf equipment as properly as a surge in the quantity of doing magicians. Many of present day veterans manufactured their identify in the 80s. Acquainted names like Richard Ang, Patrick Wan, Patrick Ng Wang Lin, Tan Hai Yan AKA Gician, Paul Koh, AB Francis and Gordon Koh ended up carrying out frequently at community and personal exhibits during this decade. Common regional venues for general public magic shows by magic clubs held on a standard basis at that time included the Drama Centre and the National Museum Theatrette.
The reputation of magic outlets also grew and in 1982, Chew Kin Song opened a Magic & Novelty Corner at the Chinese Ebook Section of Popular E-book Co Pte Ltd on the 4th Flooring of Bras Basah Complicated. Gician Tan also opened up his initial magic store at Parkway Parade which subsequently moved to Marina Sq. and was managed by Richard Ang. Besides this major store, he distributed magic products and sets through division merchants
in Singapore and South East Asia.The Singapore audience was also uncovered to globe-class magic through a number of magic tv displays and collection that ended up aired on nearby Television set such as the David Copperfield specials, Magic Magic and The Very best of Magic.
Foreign magicians who visited Singapore in the course of this time provided David Copperfield, Mark Wilson, Ben Harris, Paul Daniels and Gene Anderson.
The beginning of this decade saw the introduction of the country’s 3rd era magicians into the neighborhood magic scene. Distinguished budding magicians included Enrico Varella, Sherman Tjiong, J C Sum, Joe Yu (Chan Ee Kang), Nique Tan Li Keong, Prakash Puru, Kiki Tay, Alex Tan and Jeremy Pei.
The local chapter of Intercontinental Magicians Modern society was fashioned, launched by its President, Tan Bah Chee though the club’s existence in Singapore was quick-lived.
The late-nineties observed a huge surge in magic worldwide acceptance because of to David Blaine’s avenue magic specials. Numerous individuals started to ‘get into’ magic and experienced new mediums to discover the craft this sort of as the introduction of DVDs and the Web.
A new magic shop, Magic Castle & Promotions, opened up by Vijay Kumar at Shaw Towers shortly became ‘the spot to be’ where new magicians would hold out and satisfy.
For the duration of this 10 years, Wang Leng’s shop in Peninsula Plaza was sold to Patrick Wan. The shop was subsequently marketed to Richard Ang and is now nicely recognized as Ang Home of Magic. Patrick Wan opened his new shop, Magic Wand, which has spawned into many outlets in different areas of Singapore. Steven Sim also opened Magic Supreme at Coronation Plaza which has subsequently moved to Park Mall.
The 90s was an interesting 10 years with many visits and performances by well-known magicians. Apart from lectures by Michael & Hannah Ammar, Mark Leveridge and Wolfgang & Sonja Riebe there had been also general public theatre performances by the Pendragons, Princess Tenko, Andre Kole, Franz Harary, David Copperfield, Rudy Coby and Robert Gallop. Other visiting magicians integrated Larry Becker, Tim Ellis, Terry Seabrooke, Phil Cass and Albert Tham.
2000 – Present
Magic has continued to flourish at the nearby stage in this ten years. New possibilities and skills have emerged to elevate the art in Singapore. In Might 2000, J C Sum staged the very first ever nearby full-evening theatre demonstrate ‘Magic at the Theatre’ at Victoria Theatre. Just a thirty day period afterwards, more than a dozen magicians from the US and Canada arrived down to Singapore as part of the Magic Competition organized by the Malls of Centrepoint. Magicians these kinds of as Robert Baxt, Rocco and Peter Gossamer performed numerous exhibits at various Centrepoint Malls for in excess of a 7 days.
In 2004, the Singapore Magic Circle (SMC) was designed by Aloysius Yeo and with its on-line forum drew a new pool of magic enthusiasts jointly. SMC has since developed to in excess of one thousand customers and frequently arrange gatherings, events as effectively as the current Concept:Magic Micro MAGIC Conference in January 2007.
By means of a big-scale theatre magic musical ‘Magic of Love’, Lawrence Khong, a pastor with Faith Local community Baptist Church and his daughter Pricilla, spread the gospel information.
The multi-million greenback manufacturing has been staged many moments more than the many years throughout the entire world to distribute the phrase of Christ. Subsequently, the identical team structured two Intercontinental Festival of Magic conventions in 2003 & 2005. The initial of its type big magic events integrated competitions, lectures, a dealers’ place and performances. Worldwide performers these kinds of as Jeff McBride, Max Maven, Johnny Thomspon, The Pendragons, Lee Eun Gyeol and Tommy Ponder were booked to complete at the gala shows and lectures.
In recent years, J C Sum has turn into arguably the most prominent Singapore magician of this technology. His magic has been seen by millions through his reside performances across Asia as effectively as his landmark mass media tasks on MediaCorp Studio’s Ch eight as properly as subsequent ‘Street Illusions’ compilation DVD/ VCD.
His 24-episode ‘Magic in Motion’ series can at present be witnessed every day on Singapore Push Holdings MediaBoxOffice through 2007. In the international magic neighborhood, J C has also established himself as an elite illusion designer from Asia with the publication of his three critically acclaimed illusion books that have been bought in a lot more than thirty countries to day.
One more gifted award-successful magician, Jeremy Pei, is boosting the profile of Singapore magic inside the regional magic community with his theatre exhibits, structured lectures, workshops and lively participation in magic conventions & competitions in Japan, Korea, China, Thailand and Australia. His distinct North-Asian impact style of magic functionality has garnered him a adhering to with new budding magicians whom he teaches and guides. He has also released several unique magic items which are accessible to magicians worldwide.
In yet another very first, award-successful junior magician, Kyle Ravin secured a thirteen-episode weekly Street Magic sequence, “Maya” on MediaCorp Studios’ Vasantham Central. This 30min series observed him complete magic for the Indian local community and famous people throughout the place.
This 10 years has seen the introduction of even much more magic stores and sellers run by youthful magicians to meet up with the need of magic lovers and magicians. These include new ‘brick & mortar’ magic stores this sort of as Avenue Magic by Tan Wei Ping, Challenging Enterprise by Jimmy Wong, The Magic Hall by Kenneth Peh as nicely as on-line retailers like The Minor Magic Shop by Ning.