This article is to introduce magicians and magic enthusiasts to the wealthy background of magic in Singapore. It honours the noteworthy achievements, prominence and significance of neighborhood magicians from the previous and current.
The commencing of Modern Magic in Singapore
It is the basic consensus that modern day magic in Singapore (submit Globe War two) commenced with the late-Ng Bo
Oen AKA The Fantastic Wong. Data on local magic pre-war is very scarce. The only info found has been on The Fantastic Wong performing at the New Globe Amusement Park (then found at Kitchener Street) in the thirties.
The Fantastic 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 executed across South East Asia. He was recognized for his sharp stage magic, Linking Rings regimen and Sword Basket illusion. He was also an expert craftsman who created 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 Wonderful Wong manufactured a significant contribution to the global magic group by publishing his famous linking rings regimen with English script prepared 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 World Congree of Magic in Lausanne, Switzerland.
(For more info on The Excellent Wong refer to ‘The Wonderful Wong Story’ in The Intercontinental Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring one hundred fifteen The Quantum Ring Golden Jubilee Situation)
Another neighborhood magician who was instrumental in growing present day magic in Singapore in the course of the commencing was the late-Tan Hock Chuan. He was a teacher by job but performed for yearly particular functions, charity shows and private events. He was (and even now is) internationally known for his magical inventions. His outcomes and concepts are still promoted seller things these days and have been published 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 receive the Spinx Award (1936-37)
Both The Fantastic Wong and Tan Hock Chuan were important influences to several of the initial technology of Singapore modern day-magicians who have paved the way for long term generations.
It was only soon after the war and throughout the British Army Administration that magic in Singapore started its increase to where it is today. 1950 was the year that the Singapore Magician’s Club was fashioned by a group of beginner magicians, comprising of English-educated professionals.
In 1951 the Singapore Magician’s Club received their charter from The Worldwide Brotherhood of Magicians HQ in The united states and was from then on was formally recognized as The International Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring a hundred and 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 initial era of present day magicians. Aside from the founding users of the IBM Ring and The Excellent Wong (who joined the Ring in 1952 by invitation), some notable first technology magicians incorporated Lim Hap Hin, Tan Choon Tee, Tan Bah Chee, Yeo Soon Kian and his scholar Michael Lim.
The Excellent Wong operated the 1st magic shop 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 vendor objects from Japan. (This home/ store was destroyed in a fireplace in Dec 1988 creating him to drop most of his books and props)
During this period of time, magicians like The Wonderful Wong, Tan Bah Chee, Lim Hap Hin and Tan Choon Tee conducted magic courses at the Countrywide Theatre Club and the YMCA. manifestation magic reviews have been accountable for creating 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 noticed the ‘Golden Age’ of magic with magicians doing at different venues across the country. Besides nearby magicians carrying out in evening golf equipment, international magicians this kind of as Socar carried out a grand illusion demonstrate to a entire house at the Capitol Theatre (together Stamford Street) and The Excellent Nicholas at the Sky Theater in The Great Globe Amusement Park at Kim Seng Road (Now, Wonderful Globe Metropolis).
In the late 60s, Wee Peng Guan (Uncle of Charles Choo), opened the 2nd magic shop in Singapore at a store residence along Robinson Highway. Close to 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. (where Carlton Lodge stands presently).
For the duration of this ten years, Tan Choon Tee was producing a title for himself in the global magic community in the field of Mentalism. He won several worldwide Linking Ring Awards for his 1-Male Parades and has two books printed by Micky Hades. He was also a normal contributor to numerous international magic magazines this kind of as Gen, New Pentagram, Magicgram, Magicana and The Linking Ring.
Abroad magicians whom passed by means of Singapore integrated Milo & Roger, Milbourne Christopher and Maurice Fogel.
The seventies saw the beginning of the 2nd era of Singapore magicians. Some properly-acknowledged magicians who obtained began for the duration of this time included The Fantastic 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 Association of Magicians was established on 10 March 1973 in friendly ‘rivalry’ to the IBM Ring. The club was led by Tan Bah Chee with distinguished founding associates such as Lim Hap Hin, Tan Hock Chuan and Charles Choo.
Magic shops in Singapore began 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 6th floor of Much East Searching Centre. (It would transfer several times to different malls but at some point returned again to Far East). His store would quickly turn out to be an institution the place magicians would get numerous magic products as effectively as fulfill up and learn from each and every other.
It was a assortment haunt for a lot of magicians in the years to arrive till the store shut in the new millennium.
For the duration of this interval, The Tropicana Evening Club, which was located at Pacific Plaza, was a venue that experienced regular magic performances. A number of well-known magicians also frequented Singapore in the 70s. In 1970, John Calvert done at the Nationwide Theatre. In 1972, Albert Goshman visited Ring 115 to give a lecture. In that identical calendar year, “The Professor” Dai Vernon also visited Singapore, lectured and interacted with local magicians. Other visiting magicians incorporated Andre Kole, Billy McComb, and Ali Bongo.
By the nineteen eighties, the regional magic scene was flourishing with healthy memberships for the two main magic golf equipment as properly as a surge in the amount of doing magicians. Several of modern veterans manufactured 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 executing often at public and personal shows throughout this 10 years. Well-liked nearby venues for public magic exhibits by magic golf equipment held on a typical foundation at that time provided the Drama Centre and the National Museum Theatrette.
The recognition of magic stores also grew and in 1982, Chew Kin Track opened a Magic & Novelty Corner at the Chinese E-book Section of Well-liked Book Co Pte Ltd on the 4th Floor of Bras Basah Complicated. Gician Tan also opened up his very first magic shop at Parkway Parade which subsequently moved to Marina Square and was managed by Richard Ang. In addition to this main shop, he dispersed magic objects and sets via office shops
in Singapore and South East Asia.The Singapore audience was also uncovered to world-course magic by way of several magic tv shows and sequence that ended up aired on nearby Television such as the David Copperfield specials, Magic Magic and The Best of Magic.
International 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 ten years noticed the introduction of the country’s third technology magicians into the neighborhood magic scene. Well known 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 nearby chapter of Intercontinental Magicians Modern society was shaped, started by its President, Tan Bah Chee even though the club’s presence in Singapore was brief-lived.
The late-1990s noticed a massive surge in magic worldwide recognition due to David Blaine’s road magic specials. Several folks started to ‘get into’ magic and experienced new mediums to learn the craft this sort of as the introduction of DVDs and the World wide web.
A new magic shop, Magic Castle & Promotions, opened up by Vijay Kumar at Shaw Towers soon became ‘the location to be’ exactly where new magicians would dangle out and meet.
During this decade, Wang Leng’s shop in Peninsula Plaza was marketed to Patrick Wan. The shop was subsequently bought to Richard Ang and is now properly acknowledged as Ang House of Magic. Patrick Wan opened his new shop, Magic Wand, which has spawned into numerous shops in different elements of Singapore. Steven Sim also opened Magic Supreme at Coronation Plaza which has subsequently moved to Park 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 were also community theatre performances by the Pendragons, Princess Tenko, Andre Kole, Franz Harary, David Copperfield, Rudy Coby and Robert Gallop. Other browsing magicians incorporated Larry Becker, Tim Ellis, Terry Seabrooke, Phil Cass and Albert Tham.
2000 – Current
Magic has continued to prosper at the nearby degree in this decade. New options and talents have emerged to elevate the artwork in Singapore. In May 2000, J C Sum staged the 1st at any time local total-evening theatre display ‘Magic at the Theatre’ at Victoria Theatre. Just a thirty day period afterwards, much more than a dozen magicians from the US and Canada came down to Singapore as part of the Magic Pageant arranged by the Malls of Centrepoint. Magicians these kinds of as Robert Baxt, Rocco and Peter Gossamer done multiple shows at a variety of Centrepoint Malls for over a 7 days.
In 2004, the Singapore Magic Circle (SMC) was created by Aloysius Yeo and with its on-line forum drew a new pool of magic fanatics collectively. SMC has considering that grown to more than a thousand users and often organize gatherings, occasions as properly as the modern Concept:Magic Micro MAGIC Convention in January 2007.
Through a huge-scale theatre magic musical ‘Magic of Love’, Lawrence Khong, a pastor with Faith Community Baptist Church and his daughter Pricilla, spread the gospel information.
The multi-million greenback production has been staged numerous times in excess of the several years throughout the planet to unfold the phrase of Christ. Subsequently, the identical group structured two Worldwide Pageant of Magic conventions in 2003 & 2005. The initial of its variety huge magic events integrated competitions, lectures, a dealers’ room and performances. Global performers this kind of as Jeff McBride, Max Maven, Johnny Thomspon, The Pendragons, Lee Eun Gyeol and Tommy Wonder were booked to complete at the gala shows and lectures.
In current a long time, J C Sum has become arguably the most distinguished Singapore magician of this era. His magic has been witnessed by thousands and thousands via his dwell performances across Asia as well as his landmark mass media projects 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 observed daily on Singapore Press Holdings MediaBoxOffice by way of 2007. In the international magic community, J C has also recognized himself as an elite illusion designer from Asia with the publication of his three critically acclaimed illusion textbooks that have been sold in a lot more than thirty nations to day.
An additional gifted award-winning magician, Jeremy Pei, is increasing the profile of Singapore magic within the regional magic group with his theatre demonstrates, structured lectures, workshops and lively participation in magic conventions & competitions in Japan, Korea, China, Thailand and Australia. His exclusive North-Asian affect fashion of magic functionality has garnered him a adhering to with new budding magicians whom he teaches and guides. He has also released numerous original magic products which are available to magicians globally.
In yet another first, award-successful junior magician, Kyle Ravin secured a thirteen-episode weekly Road Magic collection, “Maya” on MediaCorp Studios’ Vasantham Central. This 30min collection noticed him complete magic for the Indian local community and celebrities throughout the nation.
This decade has observed the introduction of even more magic outlets and dealers operate by youthful magicians to meet up with the desire of magic fanatics and magicians. These incorporate new ‘brick & mortar’ magic outlets this kind of as Road Magic by Tan Wei Ping, Difficult Enterprise by Jimmy Wong, The Magic Corridor by Kenneth Peh as effectively as on-line retailers like The Small Magic Store by Ning.