This article is to introduce magicians and magic enthusiasts to the rich historical past of magic in Singapore. It honours the notable achievements, prominence and significance of regional magicians from the previous and present.
The commencing of Contemporary Magic in Singapore
It is the basic consensus that modern day magic in Singapore (submit Planet War 2) began with the late-Ng Bo
Oen AKA The Wonderful Wong. Details on local magic pre-war is quite scarce. The only details located has been on The Fantastic Wong carrying out at the New Globe Amusement Park (then found at Kitchener Highway) in the thirties.
The Excellent Wong was born in 1908 in Shanton, a city of the Guangdong Province, China and immigrated to Singapore in 1933. He was the only expert magician of his time in Singapore and done throughout South East Asia. He was identified for his sharp phase magic, Linking Rings schedule and Sword Basket illusion. He was also an professional craftsman who built all of his props by hand. He had the present of figuring out the mechanics and methodology of magic props and fabricating them from scratch.
In 1962, The Excellent Wong made a significant contribution to the global magic group by publishing his famous 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 carry out at the 15th World Congree of Magic in Lausanne, Switzerland.
(For 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)
One more local magician who was instrumental in developing present day magic in Singapore for the duration of the beginning was the late-Tan Hock Chuan. He was a teacher by career but performed for yearly special events, charity shows and non-public parties. He was (and still is) internationally acknowledged for his magical inventions. His outcomes and suggestions are still marketed supplier things right now and have been revealed in countless 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 1st Asian magician to get the Spinx Award (1936-37)
Both The Wonderful Wong and Tan Hock Chuan ended up essential influences to numerous of the first generation of Singapore contemporary-magicians who have paved the way for long term generations.
It was only following the war and during the British Army Administration that magic in Singapore commenced its rise to in which it is nowadays. 1950 was the calendar year that the Singapore Magician’s Club was shaped by a group of beginner magicians, comprising of English-educated experts.
In 1951 the Singapore Magician’s Club obtained their constitution from The International Brotherhood of Magicians HQ in America and was from then on was officially identified as The Worldwide Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring a hundred and fifteen. Founding members of the club at that time integrated 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 birth to Singapore’s very first era of present day magicians. Besides the founding members of the IBM Ring and The Excellent Wong (who joined the Ring in 1952 by invitation), some distinguished very first technology magicians provided Lim Hap Hin, Tan Choon Tee, Tan Bah Chee, Yeo Shortly Kian and his college student Michael Lim.
The Great Wong operated the first magic shop from his property cum showroom/ workshop in Singapore at 255-A Jalan Besar in which he offered his possess handcrafted props as nicely as imported vendor things from Japan. (This house/ store was ruined in a hearth in Dec 1988 creating him to shed most of his books and props)
During this period of time, magicians like The Great Wong, Tan Bah Chee, Lim Hap Hin and Tan Choon Tee conducted magic programs at the Countrywide Theatre Club and the YMCA. They have been accountable for generating energetic magicians this sort 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 doing at diverse venues across the region. In addition to local magicians carrying out in night time clubs, foreign magicians these kinds of as Socar carried out a grand illusion show to a complete house at the Capitol Theatre (alongside Stamford Street) and The Great Nicholas at the Sky Theater in The Excellent World Amusement Park at Kim Seng Street (Now, Wonderful Globe Metropolis).
In the late 60s, Wee Peng Guan (Uncle of Charles Choo), opened the next magic shop in Singapore at a shop house along Robinson Road. All around that time, common entertainer Victor Khoo’s father Khoo Teng Heng who was a magician, a ventriloquist and hypnotist opened his magic shop at Bras Basah. (where Carlton Lodge stands at present).
In the course of this ten years, Tan Choon Tee was making a title for himself in the international magic neighborhood in the area of Mentalism. He received a number of worldwide Linking Ring Awards for his One particular-Guy Parades and has two books released by Micky Hades. He was also a regular contributor to several worldwide magic publications such as Gen, New Pentagram, Magicgram, Magicana and The Linking Ring.
Overseas magicians whom handed through Singapore provided Milo & Roger, Milbourne Christopher and Maurice Fogel.
The seventies observed the birth of the next generation of Singapore magicians. Some nicely-identified magicians who obtained started out during this time incorporated The Excellent Wong’s son Ng Kee Chee, John Teo, Tang Sai Thong, Ng Seow Kiat, Tang Yeng Exciting, Bob Chua, Eric Leong, Tan Teck Seng, Lawrence Tham, Tan Tuan Seng, Lawrence Khong and Andrew Kong.
The Singapore Affiliation of Magicians was established on ten March 1973 in helpful ‘rivalry’ to the IBM Ring. The club was led by Tan Bah Chee with distinguished founding associates this sort 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 floor of Much East Buying Centre. (It would move a number of times to different malls but eventually returned back again to Far East). His store would shortly turn out to be an institution where magicians would buy various magic products as well as meet up with up and find out from every single other.
It was a range haunt for numerous magicians in the several years to come till the shop shut in the new millennium.
For the duration of this time period, The Tropicana Evening Club, which was situated at Pacific Plaza, was a location that experienced standard magic performances. Numerous renowned magicians also frequented Singapore in the 70s. In 1970, John Calvert executed at the National Theatre. In 1972, Albert Goshman visited Ring one hundred fifteen to give a lecture. In that very same 12 months, “The Professor” Dai Vernon also visited Singapore, lectured and interacted with local magicians. Other going to magicians included Andre Kole, Billy McComb, and Ali Bongo.
By the eighties, the regional magic scene was flourishing with healthier memberships for the two primary magic clubs as effectively as a surge in the variety of performing magicians. Numerous of present-day veterans made their title 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 have been doing regularly at general public and private displays for the duration of this 10 years. Common nearby venues for general public magic displays by magic golf equipment held on a normal basis at that time provided the Drama Centre and the Countrywide Museum Theatrette.
The acceptance of magic shops also grew and in 1982, Chew Kin Track opened a Magic & Novelty Corner at the Chinese Guide Segment of Well-known E-book Co Pte Ltd on the 4th Floor of Bras Basah Complex. Gician Tan also opened up his first magic shop at Parkway Parade which subsequently moved to Marina Square and was managed by Richard Ang. Aside from this main store, he distributed magic products and sets through department shops
in Singapore and South East Asia.The Singapore viewers was also exposed to world-course magic by means of a number of magic television demonstrates and sequence that have been aired on regional Tv like the David Copperfield specials, Magic Magic and The Very best of Magic.
Foreign magicians who frequented Singapore in the course of this time provided David Copperfield, Mark Wilson, Ben Harris, Paul Daniels and Gene Anderson.
The starting of this ten years saw the introduction of the country’s third technology magicians into the nearby 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 nearby chapter of Intercontinental Magicians Society was fashioned, established by its President, Tan Bah Chee though the club’s existence in Singapore was limited-lived.
The late-nineteen nineties noticed a massive surge in magic world-wide acceptance thanks to David Blaine’s avenue magic specials. A lot of men and women commenced to ‘get into’ magic and experienced new mediums to find out the craft such 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 became ‘the location to be’ exactly where new magicians would dangle out and meet up with.
For the duration of this 10 years, Wang Leng’s store in Peninsula Plaza was marketed to Patrick Wan. The store was subsequently sold to Richard Ang and is now properly recognized as Ang Residence of Magic. Patrick Wan opened his new shop, Magic Wand, which has spawned into many stores in different components of Singapore. Steven Sim also opened Magic Supreme at Coronation Plaza which has subsequently moved to Park Shopping mall.
The 90s was an fascinating ten years with several visits and performances by renowned magicians. Aside from Manifest Magic Review by Michael & Hannah Ammar, Mark Leveridge and Wolfgang & Sonja Riebe there have been also public theatre performances by the Pendragons, Princess Tenko, Andre Kole, Franz Harary, David Copperfield, Rudy Coby and Robert Gallop. Other browsing magicians provided Larry Becker, Tim Ellis, Terry Seabrooke, Phil Cass and Albert Tham.
2000 – Present
Magic has continued to prosper at the regional amount in this 10 years. New chances and abilities have emerged to elevate the artwork in Singapore. In May possibly 2000, J C Sum staged the initial ever nearby entire-evening theatre display ‘Magic at the Theatre’ at Victoria Theatre. Just a thirty day period later on, a lot more than a dozen magicians from the US and Canada arrived down to Singapore as element of the Magic Competition arranged by the Malls of Centrepoint. Magicians these kinds of as Robert Baxt, Rocco and Peter Gossamer done a number of demonstrates at a variety of Centrepoint Malls for more than 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 lovers jointly. SMC has given that developed to more than one thousand members and often arrange gatherings, activities as well as the recent Concept:Magic Micro MAGIC Convention in January 2007.
Through 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 generation has been staged numerous times in excess of the several years across the entire world to distribute the term of Christ. Subsequently, the identical crew arranged two International Pageant of Magic conventions in 2003 & 2005. The 1st of its type massive magic functions included competitions, lectures, a dealers’ area and performances. International performers such 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 several years, J C Sum has grow to be arguably the most prominent Singapore magician of this era. His magic has been noticed by millions by means of his stay performances throughout Asia as well as his landmark mass media initiatives on MediaCorp Studio’s Ch eight as effectively as subsequent ‘Street Illusions’ compilation DVD/ VCD.
His 24-episode ‘Magic in Motion’ sequence can at present be witnessed every day on Singapore Press Holdings MediaBoxOffice by means of 2007. In the intercontinental magic neighborhood, J C has also established himself as an elite illusion designer from Asia with the publication of his 3 critically acclaimed illusion guides that have been bought in much more than 30 nations to day.
Another talented award-winning magician, Jeremy Pei, is increasing the profile of Singapore magic inside the regional magic group with his theatre displays, structured lectures, workshops and lively participation in magic conventions & competitions in Japan, Korea, China, Thailand and Australia. His distinctive North-Asian affect fashion of magic performance has garnered him a pursuing with new budding magicians whom he teaches and guides. He has also unveiled multiple original magic merchandise which are offered to magicians worldwide.
In one more first, award-profitable junior magician, Kyle Ravin secured a thirteen-episode weekly Street Magic collection, “Maya” on MediaCorp Studios’ Vasantham Central. This 30min collection observed him carry out magic for the Indian neighborhood and celebs across the nation.
This decade has noticed the introduction of even more magic shops and sellers run by young magicians to fulfill the need of magic lovers and magicians. These consist of new ‘brick & mortar’ magic shops such as Road Magic by Tan Wei Ping, Difficult Organization by Jimmy Wong, The Magic Corridor by Kenneth Peh as well as on-line stores like The Small Magic Store by Ning.