This article is to introduce magicians and magic enthusiasts to the wealthy background of magic in Singapore. It honours the notable achievements, prominence and importance of neighborhood magicians from the earlier and existing.
The starting of Modern Magic in Singapore
It is the standard consensus that modern magic in Singapore (submit Entire world War two) commenced with the late-Ng Bo
Oen AKA The Fantastic Wong. Information on local magic pre-war is really scarce. The only info found has been on The Fantastic Wong performing at the New Entire world Amusement Park (then positioned at Kitchener Highway) in the thirties.
The Excellent Wong was born in 1908 in Shanton, a town of the Guangdong Province, China and immigrated to Singapore in 1933. He was the only professional magician of his time in Singapore and executed across South East Asia. He was known for his sharp phase magic, Linking Rings regimen and Sword Basket illusion. He was also an expert craftsman who built all of his props by hand. He experienced the present of figuring out the mechanics and methodology of magic props and fabricating them from scratch.
In 1962, The Great Wong made a significant contribution to the international magic community by publishing his renowned 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 perform at the 15th Entire world Congree of Magic in Lausanne, Switzerland.
(For much more info on The Fantastic Wong refer to ‘The Great Wong Story’ in The International Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring a hundred and fifteen The Quantum Ring Golden Jubilee Issue)
Another nearby magician who was instrumental in developing modern day magic in Singapore during the commencing was the late-Tan Hock Chuan. He was a instructor by occupation but carried out for once-a-year special occasions, charity shows and personal get-togethers. He was (and nevertheless is) internationally recognized for his magical inventions. His results and concepts are nonetheless promoted supplier products these days and have been printed in countless publications (of that time) this kind of as Gen, Spinx, Pentagram, New Pentagram, Swami Mantra, Abracadabra and even Tarbell’s Training course in Magic. He is the initial Asian magician to acquire the Spinx Award (1936-37)
The two The Fantastic Wong and Tan Hock Chuan had been important influences to several of the 1st generation of Singapore modern day-magicians who have paved the way for long term generations.
It was only right after the war and during the British Navy Administration that magic in Singapore commenced its rise to exactly where it is right now. 1950 was the calendar year that the Singapore Magician’s Club was shaped by a group of newbie magicians, comprising of English-educated professionals.
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 formally recognized as The Worldwide Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring 115. Founding members of the club at that time integrated 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 1st generation of modern magicians. In addition to the founding associates of the IBM Ring and The Fantastic Wong (who joined the Ring in 1952 by invitation), some well known very first generation magicians incorporated Lim Hap Hin, Tan Choon Tee, Tan Bah Chee, Yeo Quickly Kian and his college student Michael Lim.
The Great Wong operated the 1st magic shop from his home cum showroom/ workshop in Singapore at 255-A Jalan Besar exactly where he marketed his personal handcrafted props as effectively as imported vendor items from Japan. (This house/ shop was ruined in a hearth in Dec 1988 leading to him to drop most of his books and props)
For the duration of this period, magicians like The Wonderful Wong, Tan Bah Chee, Lim Hap Hin and Tan Choon Tee performed magic courses at the National Theatre Club and the YMCA. They were accountable for making active magicians these kinds of 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 across the nation. Besides nearby magicians performing in evening clubs, foreign magicians this kind of as Socar performed a grand illusion demonstrate to a complete property at the Capitol Theatre (along Stamford Road) and The Great Nicholas at the Sky Theater in The Fantastic Entire world Amusement Park at Kim Seng Street (Now, Great Planet Metropolis).
In the late 60s, Wee Peng Guan (Uncle of Charles Choo), opened the next magic shop in Singapore at a shop property alongside Robinson Highway. All around that time, popular entertainer Victor Khoo’s father Khoo Teng Heng who was a magician, a ventriloquist and hypnotist opened his magic store at Bras Basah. (the place Carlton Hotel stands at present).
Throughout this 10 years, Tan Choon Tee was producing a title for himself in the global magic local community in the field of Mentalism. He received a number of international Linking Ring Awards for his A single-Gentleman Parades and has two publications published by Micky Hades. He was also a standard contributor to numerous worldwide magic magazines this sort of as Gen, New Pentagram, Magicgram, Magicana and The Linking Ring.
Abroad magicians whom passed by way of Singapore provided Milo & Roger, Milbourne Christopher and Maurice Fogel.
The seventies noticed the delivery of the next era of Singapore magicians. Some properly-identified magicians who got started out in the course of this time included The Wonderful Wong’s son Ng Kee Chee, John Teo, Tang Sai Thong, Ng Seow Kiat, Tang Yeng Fun, Bob Chua, Eric Leong, Tan Teck Seng, Lawrence Tham, Tan Tuan Seng, Lawrence Khong and Andrew Kong.
The Singapore Affiliation of Magicians was launched on ten March 1973 in welcoming ‘rivalry’ to the IBM Ring. The club was led by Tan Bah Chee with notable founding members 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 established 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 6th ground of Much East Purchasing Centre. (It would transfer numerous occasions to numerous malls but eventually returned again to Considerably East). His shop would before long turn out to be an institution the place magicians would buy numerous magic items as properly as meet up and understand from each and every other.
It was a selection haunt for a lot of magicians in the several years to arrive till the store closed in the new millennium.
Throughout this period, The Tropicana Night Club, which was situated at Pacific Plaza, was a location that experienced typical magic performances. A number of renowned magicians also visited Singapore in the 70s. In 1970, John Calvert executed at the National Theatre. In 1972, Albert Goshman visited Ring a hundred and fifteen to give a lecture. In that same year, “The Professor” Dai Vernon also visited Singapore, lectured and interacted with regional magicians. Other visiting magicians integrated Andre Kole, Billy McComb, and Ali Bongo.
By the eighties, the regional magic scene was flourishing with wholesome memberships for the two primary magic golf equipment as effectively as a surge in the amount of performing magicians. Many of present day veterans produced 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 ended up performing frequently at public and private demonstrates for the duration of this 10 years. Well-known local venues for public magic shows by magic clubs held on a standard foundation at that time provided the Drama Centre and the Nationwide Museum Theatrette.
The popularity of magic retailers also grew and in 1982, Chew Kin Track opened a Magic & Novelty Corner at the Chinese Book Area of Common 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. Apart from this major shop, he distributed magic products and sets through department shops
in Singapore and South East Asia.The Singapore audience was also uncovered to world-course magic through numerous magic tv exhibits and collection that were aired on nearby Tv set like the David Copperfield specials, Magic Magic and The Ideal of Magic.
Foreign magicians who frequented Singapore throughout this time incorporated David Copperfield, Mark Wilson, Ben Harris, Paul Daniels and Gene Anderson.
The starting of this decade saw the introduction of the country’s 3rd generation magicians into the regional magic scene. Distinguished budding magicians provided 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 Global Magicians Modern society was formed, founded by its President, Tan Bah Chee although the club’s presence in Singapore was quick-lived.
The late-nineteen nineties saw a huge surge in magic worldwide recognition due to David Blaine’s avenue magic specials. A lot of individuals began to ‘get into’ magic and had new mediums to discover 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 area to be’ in which new magicians would hold out and satisfy.
In the course of this ten years, Wang Leng’s shop in Peninsula Plaza was offered to Patrick Wan. The store was subsequently bought to Richard Ang and is now nicely acknowledged as Ang Property of Magic. Patrick Wan opened his new store, Magic Wand, which has spawned into a number of stores in a variety of elements 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. Aside from lectures by Michael & Hannah Ammar, Mark Leveridge and Wolfgang & Sonja Riebe there were also community theatre performances by the Pendragons, Princess Tenko, Andre Kole, Franz Harary, David Copperfield, Rudy Coby and Robert Gallop. Other checking out magicians included Larry Becker, Tim Ellis, Terry Seabrooke, Phil Cass and Albert Tham.
2000 – Current
Magic has ongoing to flourish at the local amount in this decade. New options and abilities have emerged to elevate the artwork in Singapore. In May 2000, J C Sum staged the very first ever neighborhood total-evening theatre demonstrate ‘Magic at the Theatre’ at Victoria Theatre. Just a month later on, more than a dozen magicians from the US and Canada came down to Singapore as component of the Magic Competition arranged by the Malls of Centrepoint. Magicians this sort of as Robert Baxt, Rocco and Peter Gossamer performed a number of shows at numerous 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 lovers together. SMC has considering that grown to more than a thousand users and regularly manage gatherings, functions as nicely as the current Idea:Magic Micro MAGIC Conference in January 2007.
By way of a massive-scale theatre magic musical ‘Magic of Love’, Lawrence Khong, a pastor with Faith Local community Baptist Church and his daughter Pricilla, distribute the gospel information.
The multi-million greenback production has been staged several times above the several years throughout the globe to distribute the phrase of Christ. Subsequently, the identical staff structured two Intercontinental Pageant of Magic conventions in 2003 & 2005. The initial of its type huge magic occasions incorporated competitions, lectures, a dealers’ space and performances. Global performers such as Jeff McBride, Max Maven, Johnny Thomspon, The Pendragons, Lee Eun Gyeol and Tommy Question ended up booked to carry out at the gala demonstrates and lectures.
In latest many years, J C Sum has grow to be arguably the most distinguished Singapore magician of this era. His magic has been witnessed by millions by way of his stay performances across Asia as properly as his landmark mass media initiatives on MediaCorp Studio’s Ch 8 as effectively as subsequent ‘Street Illusions’ compilation DVD/ VCD.
His 24-episode ‘Magic in Motion’ sequence can at the moment be seen everyday on Singapore Push Holdings MediaBoxOffice by means of 2007. In the global magic community, J C has also proven himself as an elite illusion designer from Asia with the publication of his 3 critically acclaimed illusion publications that have been bought in far more than 30 countries to day.
One more talented award-winning magician, Jeremy Pei, is increasing the profile of Singapore magic inside of the regional magic community with his theatre displays, structured lectures, workshops and energetic participation in magic conventions & competitions in Japan, Korea, China, Thailand and Australia. His unique North-Asian influence style of magic functionality has garnered him a pursuing with new budding magicians whom he teaches and guides. He has also unveiled a number of first magic items which are offered to magicians globally.
In another first, award-winning junior magician, Kyle Ravin secured a 13-episode weekly Road Magic series, “Maya” on MediaCorp Studios’ Vasantham Central. This 30min collection saw him execute magic for the Indian local community and famous people across the place.
manifestation magic alexander wilson has seen the introduction of even more magic retailers and sellers run by younger magicians to meet up with the demand of magic fans and magicians. These include new ‘brick & mortar’ magic outlets this sort of as Road Magic by Tan Wei Ping, Challenging Enterprise by Jimmy Wong, The Magic Corridor by Kenneth Peh as nicely as on-line stores like The Tiny Magic Shop by Ning.