This post is to introduce magicians and magic fans to the prosperous history of magic in Singapore. It honours the notable achievements, prominence and significance of local magicians from the previous and present.
The beginning of Modern day Magic in Singapore
It is the standard consensus that present day magic in Singapore (submit Globe War 2) began with the late-Ng Bo
Oen AKA The Fantastic Wong. Data on neighborhood magic pre-war is quite scarce. The only info found has been on The Excellent Wong executing at the New World Amusement Park (then found at Kitchener Highway) in the thirties.
The Wonderful 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 executed throughout South East Asia. He was identified for his sharp phase magic, Linking Rings schedule and Sword Basket illusion. He was also an skilled craftsman who constructed all of his props by hand. He had the reward of figuring out the mechanics and methodology of magic props and fabricating them from scratch.
In magicien mentaliste professionnel , The Fantastic Wong created a considerable contribution to the global magic neighborhood by publishing his well-known linking rings regimen with English script created 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 execute at the 15th Globe Congree of Magic in Lausanne, Switzerland.
(For more details on The Great Wong refer to ‘The Fantastic Wong Story’ in The Intercontinental Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring a hundred and fifteen The Quantum Ring Golden Jubilee Concern)
Yet another nearby magician who was instrumental in increasing modern day magic in Singapore in the course of the beginning was the late-Tan Hock Chuan. He was a teacher by career but performed for annual particular functions, charity shows and personal functions. He was (and still is) internationally identified for his magical innovations. His effects and concepts are nevertheless promoted dealer things today and have been printed in numerous publications (of that time) this kind of 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)
Each The Wonderful Wong and Tan Hock Chuan were critical influences to numerous of the first technology of Singapore modern day-magicians who have paved the way for potential generations.
It was only following the war and throughout the British Navy Administration that magic in Singapore began its rise to exactly where it is today. 1950 was the yr that the Singapore Magician’s Club was shaped by a team of newbie magicians, comprising of English-educated experts.
In 1951 the Singapore Magician’s Club gained their charter from The Worldwide Brotherhood of Magicians HQ in The united states and was from then on was formally acknowledged as The Intercontinental Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring 115. Founding associates of the club at that time included Tan Ewe Chee (President), Yeo Shortly 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 start to Singapore’s initial era of modern day magicians. Aside from the founding users of the IBM Ring and The Great Wong (who joined the Ring in 1952 by invitation), some notable very first technology magicians incorporated Lim Hap Hin, Tan Choon Tee, Tan Bah Chee, Yeo Shortly Kian and his scholar Michael Lim.
The Fantastic Wong operated the 1st magic shop from his residence cum showroom/ workshop in Singapore at 255-A Jalan Besar in which he marketed his own handcrafted props as properly as imported seller things from Japan. (This residence/ store was ruined in a hearth in Dec 1988 triggering him to shed most of his publications and props)
Throughout this period, magicians like The Excellent Wong, Tan Bah Chee, Lim Hap Hin and Tan Choon Tee executed magic programs at the National Theatre Club and the YMCA. They ended up responsible for creating energetic magicians this kind of as Charles Choo, Wong Fok Choy, Chia Hearn Jiang, Gwee Thiam Hock and the late-Vijeyacone.
The early 60s also noticed the ‘Golden Age’ of magic with magicians performing at distinct venues across the region. Aside from local magicians doing in night clubs, overseas magicians this kind of as Socar done a grand illusion display to a entire house at the Capitol Theatre (alongside Stamford Highway) and The Excellent Nicholas at the Sky Theater in The Great Entire world Amusement Park at Kim Seng Street (Now, Wonderful Planet Town).
In the late 60s, Wee Peng Guan (Uncle of Charles Choo), opened the 2nd magic shop in Singapore at a store property together Robinson Highway. Around that time, common entertainer Victor Khoo’s father Khoo Teng Heng who was a magician, a ventriloquist and hypnotist opened his magic store at Bras Basah. (exactly where Carlton Resort stands currently).
In the course of this ten years, Tan Choon Tee was producing a identify for himself in the global magic neighborhood in the field of Mentalism. He gained a number of intercontinental Linking Ring Awards for his 1-Man Parades and has two textbooks revealed by Micky Hades. He was also a standard contributor to numerous international magic publications this sort of as Gen, New Pentagram, Magicgram, Magicana and The Linking Ring.
Overseas magicians whom passed through Singapore incorporated Milo & Roger, Milbourne Christopher and Maurice Fogel.
The seventies saw the beginning of the next technology of Singapore magicians. Some nicely-recognized magicians who obtained commenced throughout this time included The Great 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 started on 10 March 1973 in friendly ‘rivalry’ to the IBM Ring. The club was led by Tan Bah Chee with prominent founding associates these kinds of as Lim Hap Hin, Tan Hock Chuan and Charles Choo.
Magic outlets in Singapore started 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 shop in August 1978 on the 6th ground of Much East Buying Centre. (It would shift several times to a variety of malls but eventually returned back to Far East). His shop would quickly grow to be an establishment the place magicians would get a variety of magic products as nicely as meet up with up and learn from every other.
It was a assortment haunt for many magicians in the many years to appear until the store shut in the new millennium.
In the course of this time period, The Tropicana Night Club, which was located at Pacific Plaza, was a location that experienced standard magic performances. A number of well-known magicians also visited Singapore in the 70s. In 1970, John Calvert performed at the Nationwide Theatre. In 1972, Albert Goshman frequented Ring one hundred fifteen to give a lecture. In that same year, “The Professor” Dai Vernon also visited Singapore, lectured and interacted with nearby magicians. Other browsing magicians integrated Andre Kole, Billy McComb, and Ali Bongo.
By the nineteen eighties, the nearby magic scene was flourishing with healthy memberships for the two main magic golf equipment as well as a surge in the number of performing magicians. A lot of of today’s veterans produced their identify in the 80s. Common names like Richard Ang, Patrick Wan, Patrick Ng Wang Lin, Tan Hai Yan AKA Gician, Paul Koh, AB Francis and Gordon Koh ended up executing frequently at public and personal exhibits during this ten years. Common nearby venues for community magic shows by magic clubs held on a typical basis at that time provided the Drama Centre and the Nationwide Museum Theatrette.
The acceptance of magic shops also grew and in 1982, Chew Kin Music opened a Magic & Novelty Corner at the Chinese E-book Part of Well-known 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 Square and was managed by Richard Ang. Apart from this main shop, he dispersed magic items and sets by means of division shops
in Singapore and South East Asia.The Singapore audience was also exposed to planet-course magic through a number of magic tv displays and collection that ended up aired on regional Television such as the David Copperfield specials, Magic Magic and The Very best of Magic.
Foreign magicians who frequented Singapore for the duration of this time included David Copperfield, Mark Wilson, Ben Harris, Paul Daniels and Gene Anderson.
The beginning of this decade noticed the introduction of the country’s 3rd generation magicians into the neighborhood magic scene. Well known 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 regional chapter of Intercontinental Magicians Modern society was fashioned, launched by its President, Tan Bah Chee although the club’s presence in Singapore was brief-lived.
The late-nineteen nineties saw a huge surge in magic world-wide reputation owing to David Blaine’s street magic specials. Several men and women started to ‘get into’ magic and experienced new mediums to learn the craft this kind of as the introduction of DVDs and the Net.
A new magic store, Magic Castle & Promotions, opened up by Vijay Kumar at Shaw Towers shortly grew to become ‘the area to be’ in which new magicians would hold out and satisfy.
In the course of this ten years, Wang Leng’s store in Peninsula Plaza was offered to Patrick Wan. The shop was subsequently offered to Richard Ang and is now nicely identified as Ang Residence of Magic. Patrick Wan opened his new store, Magic Wand, which has spawned into many retailers in various components of Singapore. Steven Sim also opened Magic Supreme at Coronation Plaza which has subsequently moved to Park Shopping mall.
The 90s was an thrilling ten years with several visits and performances by renowned magicians. Apart from lectures by Michael & Hannah Ammar, Mark Leveridge and Wolfgang & Sonja Riebe there ended up also public theatre performances by the Pendragons, Princess Tenko, Andre Kole, Franz Harary, David Copperfield, Rudy Coby and Robert Gallop. Other going to magicians included Larry Becker, Tim Ellis, Terry Seabrooke, Phil Cass and Albert Tham.
2000 – Current
Magic has continued to prosper at the local stage in this ten years. New chances and abilities have emerged to elevate the artwork in Singapore. In Might 2000, J C Sum staged the initial ever local full-evening theatre display ‘Magic at the Theatre’ at Victoria Theatre. Just a month later, far more than a dozen magicians from the US and Canada came down to Singapore as element of the Magic Pageant structured by the Malls of Centrepoint. Magicians such as Robert Baxt, Rocco and Peter Gossamer carried out a number of shows at different Centrepoint Malls for more than a week.
In 2004, the Singapore Magic Circle (SMC) was designed by Aloysius Yeo and with its on-line forum drew a new pool of magic lovers collectively. SMC has given that grown to above one thousand members and often organize gatherings, activities as nicely as the current Principle:Magic Micro MAGIC Conference in January 2007.
Via a massive-scale theatre magic musical ‘Magic of Love’, Lawrence Khong, a pastor with Religion Local community Baptist Church and his daughter Pricilla, spread the gospel information.
The multi-million greenback manufacturing has been staged several moments over the a long time throughout the entire world to distribute the term of Christ. Subsequently, the exact same crew structured two Intercontinental Pageant of Magic conventions in 2003 & 2005. The initial of its kind big magic events integrated competitions, lectures, a dealers’ room and performances. International performers this sort of as Jeff McBride, Max Maven, Johnny Thomspon, The Pendragons, Lee Eun Gyeol and Tommy Ponder ended up booked to carry out at the gala displays and lectures.
In current many years, J C Sum has turn into arguably the most prominent Singapore magician of this era. His magic has been witnessed by hundreds of thousands through his reside performances throughout Asia as properly as his landmark mass media projects on MediaCorp Studio’s Ch 8 as effectively as subsequent ‘Street Illusions’ compilation DVD/ VCD.
His 24-episode ‘Magic in Motion’ collection can currently be noticed every day on Singapore Push Holdings MediaBoxOffice via 2007. In the global magic group, J C has also recognized himself as an elite illusion designer from Asia with the publication of his three critically acclaimed illusion publications that have been marketed in far more than 30 nations to day.
Yet another proficient award-winning magician, Jeremy Pei, is boosting the profile of Singapore magic inside the regional magic group with his theatre exhibits, arranged lectures, workshops and active participation in magic conventions & competitions in Japan, Korea, China, Thailand and Australia. His exclusive North-Asian influence type of magic overall performance has garnered him a pursuing with new budding magicians whom he teaches and guides. He has also released numerous original magic products which are obtainable to magicians throughout the world.
In yet another first, award-profitable junior magician, Kyle Ravin secured a thirteen-episode weekly Avenue Magic series, “Maya” on MediaCorp Studios’ Vasantham Central. This 30min series observed him execute magic for the Indian community and celebrities across the place.
This 10 years has observed the introduction of even much more magic outlets and dealers run by youthful magicians to meet the demand from customers of magic enthusiasts and magicians. These contain new ‘brick & mortar’ magic retailers this sort of as Avenue Magic by Tan Wei Ping, Difficult Organization by Jimmy Wong, The Magic Corridor by Kenneth Peh as effectively as on-line stores like The Minor Magic Shop by Ning.