This post is to introduce magicians and magic fans to the wealthy background of magic in Singapore. It honours the noteworthy achievements, prominence and significance of local magicians from the earlier and present.
The commencing of Contemporary Magic in Singapore
It is the basic consensus that contemporary magic in Singapore (submit World War two) commenced with the late-Ng Bo
Oen AKA The Wonderful Wong. Info on nearby magic pre-war is quite scarce. The only details identified has been on The Excellent Wong carrying out at the New World Amusement Park (then situated at Kitchener Road) in the nineteen thirties.
The Wonderful Wong was born in 1908 in Shanton, a metropolis of the Guangdong Province, China and immigrated to Singapore in 1933. He was the only skilled magician of his time in Singapore and done throughout South East Asia. He was acknowledged for his sharp phase magic, Linking Rings program and Sword Basket illusion. He was also an professional craftsman who built 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 produced a substantial contribution to the intercontinental magic local community by publishing his popular linking rings routine with English script composed by Tudor Brock. Davenports Magic in London distributes his manuscript to day. In 1982, he was invited by the Federation Internationale des Societes Magiques (FISM) to perform at the fifteenth Globe Congree of Magic in Lausanne, Switzerland.
(For much more info on The Excellent Wong refer to ‘The Fantastic Wong Story’ in The Global Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring one hundred fifteen The Quantum Ring Golden Jubilee Concern)
Another regional magician who was instrumental in growing modern day magic in Singapore during the starting was the late-Tan Hock Chuan. He was a trainer by career but executed for yearly specific functions, charity demonstrates and personal functions. He was (and still is) internationally known for his magical inventions. His results and ideas are still marketed dealer things nowadays and have been released in a great number of publications (of that time) these kinds of as Gen, Spinx, Pentagram, New Pentagram, Swami Mantra, Abracadabra and even Tarbell’s Course in Magic. He is the first Asian magician to receive the Spinx Award (1936-37)
Each The Wonderful Wong and Tan Hock Chuan ended up crucial influences to many of the first generation of Singapore modern day-magicians who have paved the way for potential generations.
It was only following the war and in the course of the British Navy Administration that magic in Singapore began its rise to exactly where it is today. 1950 was the calendar year that the Singapore Magician’s Club was fashioned by a team of novice magicians, comprising of English-educated experts.
In 1951 the Singapore Magician’s Club gained their constitution from The International Brotherhood of Magicians HQ in America and was from then on was officially acknowledged as The Global Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring a hundred and fifteen. Founding customers of the club at that time integrated Tan Ewe Chee (President), Yeo Before long 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 birth to Singapore’s 1st era of contemporary magicians. Apart from the founding customers of the IBM Ring and The Excellent Wong (who joined the Ring in 1952 by invitation), some distinguished initial technology magicians provided Lim Hap Hin, Tan Choon Tee, Tan Bah Chee, Yeo Before long Kian and his student Michael Lim.
The Wonderful Wong operated the initial magic store from his residence cum showroom/ workshop in Singapore at 255-A Jalan Besar exactly where he bought his own handcrafted props as properly as imported seller products from Japan. (This residence/ shop was destroyed in a hearth in Dec 1988 causing him to get rid of most of his publications and props)
Throughout this interval, magicians like The Great Wong, Tan Bah Chee, Lim Hap Hin and Tan Choon Tee carried out magic programs at the Countrywide Theatre Club and the YMCA. They had been dependable for generating active magicians such as Charles Choo, Wong Fok Choy, Chia Hearn Jiang, Gwee Thiam Hock and the late-Vijeyacone.
The early 60s also observed the ‘Golden Age’ of magic with magicians executing at various venues throughout the country. Besides nearby magicians executing in evening golf equipment, international magicians these kinds of as Socar executed a grand illusion display to a entire home at the Capitol Theatre (alongside Stamford Road) and The Wonderful Nicholas at the Sky Theater in The Excellent World Amusement Park at Kim Seng Road (Now, Great Planet Metropolis).
In the late 60s, Wee Peng Guan (Uncle of Charles Choo), opened the second magic shop in Singapore at a shop property along Robinson Road. 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. (the place Carlton Hotel stands presently).
Throughout this 10 years, Tan Choon Tee was making a identify for himself in the global magic local community in the area of Mentalism. He gained a number of intercontinental Linking Ring Awards for his A single-Guy Parades and has two books printed by Micky Hades. He was also a typical contributor to quite a few international magic journals this kind of as Gen, New Pentagram, Magicgram, Magicana and The Linking Ring.
Overseas magicians whom handed via Singapore incorporated Milo & Roger, Milbourne Christopher and Maurice Fogel.
The nineteen seventies saw the start of the second technology of Singapore magicians. Manifest Magic Into Your Life -recognized magicians who acquired started out in the course of this time incorporated The Excellent 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 Affiliation of Magicians was founded on 10 March 1973 in helpful ‘rivalry’ to the IBM Ring. The club was led by Tan Bah Chee with distinguished founding associates this kind of as Lim Hap Hin, Tan Hock Chuan and Charles Choo.
Magic stores in Singapore started to spring up during the late seventies. Ng Kee Chee set up a magic stall at Yaohan in Plaza Singapura and Wang Leng opened his shop in Peninsula Plaza. Charles Choo opened his store in August 1978 on the sixth flooring of Significantly East Searching Centre. (It would transfer a number of occasions to a variety of malls but at some point returned back to Far East). His store would quickly turn out to be an institution in which magicians would purchase numerous magic products as nicely as meet up and learn from every other.
It was a selection haunt for numerous magicians in the years to come until the shop closed in the new millennium.
In the course of this period of time, The Tropicana Night Club, which was positioned at Pacific Plaza, was a location that experienced normal magic performances. A number of renowned magicians also visited Singapore in the 70s. In 1970, John Calvert done at the National Theatre. In 1972, Albert Goshman visited Ring 115 to give a lecture. In that exact same calendar year, “The Professor” Dai Vernon also frequented Singapore, lectured and interacted with regional magicians. Other going to magicians integrated Andre Kole, Billy McComb, and Ali Bongo.
By the eighties, the regional magic scene was flourishing with healthier memberships for the two main magic clubs as effectively as a surge in the quantity of performing magicians. A lot of of present-day veterans produced their name in the 80s. Familiar names like Richard Ang, Patrick Wan, Patrick Ng Wang Lin, Tan Hai Yan AKA Gician, Paul Koh, AB Francis and Gordon Koh have been performing frequently at general public and personal shows during this decade. Popular regional venues for community magic exhibits by magic golf equipment held on a normal basis at that time integrated the Drama Centre and the National Museum Theatrette.
The recognition of magic outlets also grew and in 1982, Chew Kin Tune opened a Magic & Novelty Corner at the Chinese E-book Section of Well-known Ebook Co Pte Ltd on the 4th Flooring of Bras Basah Complex. Gician Tan also opened up his 1st magic store at Parkway Parade which subsequently moved to Marina Square and was managed by Richard Ang. In addition to this principal shop, he dispersed magic products and sets by way of division merchants
in Singapore and South East Asia.The Singapore viewers was also exposed to world-course magic via a number of magic tv shows and collection that have been aired on local Tv such as the David Copperfield specials, Magic Magic and The Ideal of Magic.
Overseas magicians who visited Singapore in the course of this time integrated David Copperfield, Mark Wilson, Ben Harris, Paul Daniels and Gene Anderson.
The starting of this decade noticed the introduction of the country’s 3rd generation magicians into the local magic scene. Prominent budding magicians incorporated 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 regional chapter of International Magicians Culture was fashioned, founded by its President, Tan Bah Chee despite the fact that the club’s presence in Singapore was quick-lived.
The late-nineteen nineties saw a huge surge in magic international reputation thanks to David Blaine’s avenue magic specials. Several people began to ‘get into’ magic and experienced new mediums to learn the craft these kinds of as the introduction of DVDs and the Net.
A new magic store, Magic Castle & Promotions, opened up by Vijay Kumar at Shaw Towers before long turned ‘the location to be’ where new magicians would hang out and satisfy.
Throughout this 10 years, Wang Leng’s shop in Peninsula Plaza was offered to Patrick Wan. The store was subsequently bought to Richard Ang and is now properly identified as Ang Home of Magic. Patrick Wan opened his new shop, Magic Wand, which has spawned into a number of outlets in a variety of areas of Singapore. Steven Sim also opened Magic Supreme at Coronation Plaza which has subsequently moved to Park Shopping mall.
The 90s was an fascinating 10 years with many visits and performances by famous magicians. Aside from lectures by Michael & Hannah Ammar, Mark Leveridge and Wolfgang & Sonja Riebe there have been also community theatre performances by the Pendragons, Princess Tenko, Andre Kole, Franz Harary, David Copperfield, Rudy Coby and Robert Gallop. Other visiting magicians provided Larry Becker, Tim Ellis, Terry Seabrooke, Phil Cass and Albert Tham.
2000 – Existing
Magic has ongoing to flourish at the local stage in this 10 years. New chances and talents have emerged to elevate the artwork in Singapore. In May 2000, J C Sum staged the first ever neighborhood entire-night theatre present ‘Magic at the Theatre’ at Victoria Theatre. Just a thirty day period afterwards, a lot more than a dozen magicians from the US and Canada came down to Singapore as component of the Magic Competition structured by the Malls of Centrepoint. Magicians such as Robert Baxt, Rocco and Peter Gossamer done a number of exhibits at various Centrepoint Malls for above a 7 days.
In 2004, the Singapore Magic Circle (SMC) was developed by Aloysius Yeo and with its on-line forum drew a new pool of magic fans jointly. SMC has considering that grown to over one thousand users and regularly organize gatherings, functions as well as the modern Notion:Magic Micro MAGIC Conference in January 2007.
Through a large-scale theatre magic musical ‘Magic of Love’, Lawrence Khong, a pastor with Religion Group Baptist Church and his daughter Pricilla, spread the gospel message.
The multi-million dollar creation has been staged numerous occasions above the many years throughout the globe to spread the phrase of Christ. Subsequently, the identical crew structured two Worldwide Competition of Magic conventions in 2003 & 2005. The first of its sort massive magic activities integrated competitions, lectures, a dealers’ place and performances. Intercontinental performers this sort of as Jeff McBride, Max Maven, Johnny Thomspon, The Pendragons, Lee Eun Gyeol and Tommy Ponder had been booked to carry out at the gala exhibits and lectures.
In modern many years, J C Sum has turn out to be arguably the most well known Singapore magician of this technology. His magic has been seen by millions by way of his live performances across Asia as properly as his landmark mass media assignments on MediaCorp Studio’s Ch eight as well as subsequent ‘Street Illusions’ compilation DVD/ VCD.
His 24-episode ‘Magic in Motion’ series can presently be seen everyday on Singapore Push Holdings MediaBoxOffice through 2007. In the intercontinental magic community, J C has also recognized himself as an elite illusion designer from Asia with the publication of his 3 critically acclaimed illusion guides that have been offered in much more than thirty nations around the world to date.
Another gifted award-successful magician, Jeremy Pei, is increasing the profile of Singapore magic inside of the regional magic community with his theatre exhibits, structured lectures, workshops and energetic participation in magic conventions & competitions in Japan, Korea, China, Thailand and Australia. His distinctive North-Asian impact style of magic efficiency has garnered him a subsequent with new budding magicians whom he teaches and guides. He has also unveiled several unique magic merchandise which are offered to magicians globally.
In yet another first, award-profitable junior magician, Kyle Ravin secured a 13-episode weekly Road Magic series, “Maya” on MediaCorp Studios’ Vasantham Central. This 30min sequence observed him complete magic for the Indian local community and famous people across the region.
This decade has noticed the introduction of even a lot more magic stores and sellers operate by youthful magicians to meet up with the desire of magic fanatics and magicians. These incorporate new ‘brick & mortar’ magic retailers this kind of as Street Magic by Tan Wei Ping, Tricky Enterprise by Jimmy Wong, The Magic Corridor by Kenneth Peh as properly as on-line shops like The Tiny Magic Shop by Ning.