This article is to introduce magicians and magic lovers to the prosperous heritage of magic in Singapore. It honours the noteworthy achievements, prominence and importance of neighborhood magicians from the past and present.
The starting of Present day Magic in Singapore
It is the standard consensus that modern magic in Singapore (post Globe War 2) started with the late-Ng Bo
Oen AKA The Excellent Wong. Data on nearby magic pre-war is extremely scarce. The only information located has been on The Great Wong executing at the New World Amusement Park (then found at Kitchener Road) in the 1930s.
The Wonderful Wong was born in 1908 in Shanton, a city of the Guangdong Province, China and immigrated to Singapore in 1933. He was the only skilled magician of his time in Singapore and carried out across South East Asia. He was identified for his sharp phase magic, Linking Rings schedule and Sword Basket illusion. He was also an specialist craftsman who constructed all of his props by hand. He had the gift of figuring out the mechanics and methodology of magic props and fabricating them from scratch.
In 1962, The Wonderful Wong manufactured a considerable contribution to the international magic local community by publishing his well-known linking rings regimen with English script composed 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 fifteenth Globe Congree of Magic in Lausanne, Switzerland.
(For a lot more info on The Wonderful Wong refer to ‘The Fantastic Wong Story’ in The Intercontinental Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring 115 The Quantum Ring Golden Jubilee Concern)
Another local magician who was instrumental in growing modern day magic in Singapore in the course of the starting was the late-Tan Hock Chuan. He was a instructor by profession but performed for yearly particular activities, charity shows and personal get-togethers. He was (and even now is) internationally known for his magical innovations. His outcomes and tips are even now marketed supplier items right now 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 System in Magic. He is the first Asian magician to obtain the Spinx Award (1936-37)
The two The Excellent Wong and Tan Hock Chuan were essential influences to many of the first technology of Singapore modern day-magicians who have paved the way for potential generations.
It was only following the war and during the British Military Administration that magic in Singapore started its increase to where it is today. 1950 was the 12 months that the Singapore Magician’s Club was shaped by a team of amateur magicians, comprising of English-educated specialists.
In 1951 the Singapore Magician’s Club gained their constitution from The Intercontinental Brotherhood of Magicians HQ in The usa and was from then on was formally known as The International Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring a hundred and fifteen. Founding users of the club at that time incorporated 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 1st era of contemporary magicians. Besides the founding members of the IBM Ring and The Great Wong (who joined the Ring in 1952 by invitation), some well known 1st technology magicians incorporated Lim Hap Hin, Tan Choon Tee, Tan Bah Chee, Yeo Quickly Kian and his student Michael Lim.
The Great Wong operated the first magic store from his home cum showroom/ workshop in Singapore at 255-A Jalan Besar the place he sold his personal handcrafted props as effectively as imported supplier products from Japan. (This home/ store was wrecked in a fire in Dec 1988 triggering him to lose most of his textbooks and props)
For the duration of this period of time, magicians like The Great Wong, Tan Bah Chee, Lim Hap Hin and Tan Choon Tee carried out magic courses at the National Theatre Club and the YMCA. They had been accountable for generating active magicians this kind 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 carrying out at different venues throughout the nation. Aside from local magicians doing in night golf equipment, overseas magicians this sort of as Socar done a grand illusion present to a full property at the Capitol Theatre (together Stamford Road) and The Fantastic Nicholas at the Sky Theater in The Excellent Globe Amusement Park at Kim Seng Road (Now, Fantastic Planet Metropolis).
In the late 60s, Wee Peng Guan (Uncle of Charles Choo), opened the 2nd magic store in Singapore at a shop house together Robinson Street. Around that time, popular entertainer Victor Khoo’s father Khoo Teng Heng who was a magician, a ventriloquist and hypnotist opened his magic shop at Bras Basah. (in which Carlton Lodge stands at the moment).
Throughout this 10 years, Tan Choon Tee was making a name for himself in the worldwide magic community in the field of Mentalism. He gained numerous international Linking Ring Awards for his A single-Male Parades and has two books released by Micky Hades. He was also a regular contributor to many international magic publications such as Gen, New Pentagram, Magicgram, Magicana and The Linking Ring.
Abroad magicians whom passed by way of Singapore included Milo & Roger, Milbourne Christopher and Maurice Fogel.
The 1970s saw the birth of the second technology of Singapore magicians. Some nicely-known magicians who received commenced throughout this time incorporated 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 Association of Magicians was established on 10 March 1973 in welcoming ‘rivalry’ to the IBM Ring. The club was led by Tan Bah Chee with prominent founding associates this sort of as Lim Hap Hin, Tan Hock Chuan and Charles Choo.
Magic stores in Singapore began to spring up for the duration of 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 store in August 1978 on the 6th flooring of Much East Shopping Centre. (It would move a number of occasions to different malls but ultimately returned again to Significantly East). His shop would soon grow to be an establishment the place magicians would acquire numerous magic merchandise as properly as meet up and discover from each and every other.
It was a selection haunt for numerous magicians in the years to appear until the shop closed in the new millennium.
During this period of time, The Tropicana Night time Club, which was located at Pacific Plaza, was a venue that experienced standard magic performances. Many renowned magicians also visited Singapore in the 70s. In 1970, John Calvert performed at the National Theatre. In 1972, Albert Goshman visited Ring 115 to give a lecture. In that 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 nearby magic scene was flourishing with wholesome memberships for the two principal magic golf equipment as nicely as a surge in the number of doing magicians. Many of present-day veterans made their identify 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 ended up performing routinely at general public and non-public shows for the duration of this decade. Well-liked nearby venues for general public magic demonstrates by magic golf equipment held on a normal basis at that time provided the Drama Centre and the Nationwide Museum Theatrette.
The reputation of magic stores also grew and in 1982, Chew Kin Song opened a Magic & Novelty Corner at the Chinese E-book Segment of Common Ebook Co Pte Ltd on the 4th Ground of Bras Basah Sophisticated. Gician Tan also opened up his first magic store at Parkway Parade which subsequently moved to Marina Sq. and was managed by Richard Ang. In addition to this principal store, he dispersed magic things and sets via division shops
in Singapore and South East Asia.The Singapore viewers was also uncovered to world-class magic through many magic television demonstrates and collection that ended up aired on regional Television set such as the David Copperfield specials, Magic Magic and The Very best of Magic.
Foreign magicians who frequented Singapore throughout this time integrated David Copperfield, Mark Wilson, Ben Harris, Paul Daniels and Gene Anderson.
The starting of this decade saw the introduction of the country’s third era magicians into the neighborhood magic scene. Prominent budding magicians integrated 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 International Magicians Culture was formed, launched by its President, Tan Bah Chee though the club’s existence in Singapore was quick-lived.
The late-1990s saw a huge surge in magic international popularity because of to David Blaine’s road magic specials. Numerous men and women started out to ‘get into’ magic and experienced new mediums to understand the craft these kinds of as the introduction of DVDs and the World wide web.
A new magic store, Magic Castle & Promotions, opened up by Vijay Kumar at Shaw Towers soon became ‘the spot to be’ where new magicians would hold out and meet up with.
For the duration of this 10 years, Wang Leng’s shop in Peninsula Plaza was bought to Patrick Wan. The store was subsequently offered to Richard Ang and is now nicely identified as Ang Property of Magic. Patrick Wan opened his new store, Magic Wand, which has spawned into numerous retailers 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 interesting ten years with several visits and performances by popular magicians. Aside from lectures by Michael & Hannah Ammar, Mark Leveridge and Wolfgang & Sonja Riebe there had been also community 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 – Existing
Magic has ongoing to flourish at the nearby stage in this 10 years. New opportunities and skills have emerged to elevate the artwork in Singapore. In Could 2000, J C Sum staged the initial at any time regional total-night theatre show ‘Magic at the Theatre’ at Victoria Theatre. Just a month later, a lot more than a dozen magicians from the US and Canada arrived down to Singapore as part of the Magic Festival arranged by the Malls of Centrepoint. Magicians this sort of as Robert Baxt, Rocco and Peter Gossamer performed multiple demonstrates at various Centrepoint Malls for more than a week.
In 2004, the Singapore Magic Circle (SMC) was created by Aloysius Yeo and with its on-line forum drew a new pool of magic fans collectively. SMC has because grown to above a thousand users and routinely manage gatherings, events as well as the modern Concept:Magic Micro MAGIC Convention in January 2007.
By way of a large-scale theatre magic musical ‘Magic of Love’, Lawrence Khong, a pastor with Religion Community Baptist Church and his daughter Pricilla, unfold the gospel information.
The multi-million dollar manufacturing has been staged numerous moments over the a long time throughout the globe to distribute the word of Christ. Subsequently, the exact same group organized two International Pageant of Magic conventions in 2003 & 2005. The 1st of its variety massive magic functions incorporated competitions, lectures, a dealers’ place and performances. Global performers these kinds of as Jeff McBride, Max Maven, Johnny Thomspon, The Pendragons, Lee Eun Gyeol and Tommy Question were booked to perform at the gala demonstrates and lectures.
In current a long time, J C Sum has turn out to be arguably the most well known Singapore magician of this technology. His magic has been observed by hundreds of thousands via his stay performances throughout Asia as nicely as his landmark mass media projects on MediaCorp Studio’s Ch eight as effectively as subsequent ‘Street Illusions’ compilation DVD/ VCD.
His 24-episode ‘Magic in Motion’ series can at the moment be seen every day on Singapore Press Holdings MediaBoxOffice via 2007. In the international magic local community, J C has also set up himself as an elite illusion designer from Asia with the publication of his 3 critically acclaimed illusion guides that have been marketed in much more than 30 nations to date.
One more gifted award-winning magician, Jeremy Pei, is increasing the profile of Singapore magic inside the regional magic community with his theatre shows, structured lectures, workshops and active participation in magic conventions & competitions in Japan, Korea, China, Thailand and Australia. His unique North-Asian affect type of magic efficiency has garnered him a adhering to with new budding magicians whom he teaches and guides. He has also unveiled a number of original magic products which are available to magicians worldwide.
In yet manifestation magic program , award-profitable junior magician, Kyle Ravin secured a 13-episode weekly Avenue Magic sequence, “Maya” on MediaCorp Studios’ Vasantham Central. This 30min series observed him perform magic for the Indian group and celebrities throughout the place.
This 10 years has seen the introduction of even a lot more magic outlets and sellers run by youthful magicians to meet the demand of magic lovers and magicians. These contain new ‘brick & mortar’ magic outlets these kinds of as Road Magic by Tan Wei Ping, Challenging Organization by Jimmy Wong, The Magic Hall by Kenneth Peh as effectively as on-line retailers like The Small Magic Shop by Ning.