This article is to introduce magicians and magic lovers to the wealthy history of magic in Singapore. It honours the notable achievements, prominence and importance of nearby magicians from the past and present.
The commencing of Present day Magic in Singapore
It is the basic consensus that modern magic in Singapore (put up Planet War two) started with the late-Ng Bo
Oen AKA The Fantastic Wong. Details on local magic pre-war is quite scarce. The only details found has been on The Excellent Wong executing at the New World Amusement Park (then found at Kitchener Road) in the thirties.
The Fantastic 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 acknowledged for his sharp phase magic, Linking Rings program and Sword Basket illusion. He was also an specialist craftsman who developed 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 produced a significant contribution to the intercontinental magic neighborhood by publishing his renowned linking rings regimen with English script composed by Tudor Brock. Davenports Magic in London distributes his manuscript to day. In 1982, he was invited by the Federation Internationale des Societes Magiques (FISM) to perform at the fifteenth Entire world Congree of Magic in Lausanne, Switzerland.
(For far more info on The Wonderful Wong refer to ‘The Excellent Wong Story’ in The Worldwide Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring 115 The Quantum Ring Golden Jubilee Concern)
Yet another nearby magician who was instrumental in developing modern magic in Singapore during the beginning was the late-Tan Hock Chuan. He was a instructor by occupation but executed for once-a-year specific occasions, charity exhibits and personal functions. He was (and even now is) internationally recognized for his magical innovations. His outcomes and concepts are nonetheless marketed dealer things right now and have been revealed in a great number of publications (of that time) such as Gen, Spinx, Pentagram, New Pentagram, Swami Mantra, Abracadabra and even Tarbell’s Training course in Magic. He is the very first Asian magician to receive the Spinx Award (1936-37)
Equally The Wonderful Wong and Tan Hock Chuan had been important influences to numerous of the 1st technology of Singapore present day-magicians who have paved the way for potential generations.
It was only right after the war and in the course of the British Military Administration that magic in Singapore began its rise to where it is today. 1950 was the year that the Singapore Magician’s Club was formed by a group of amateur magicians, comprising of English-educated pros.
In 1951 the Singapore Magician’s Club obtained their charter from The Intercontinental Brotherhood of Magicians HQ in The us and was from then on was officially recognized as The Intercontinental Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring 115. Founding users of the club at that time included 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 initial technology of present day magicians. In addition to the founding members of the IBM Ring and The Fantastic Wong (who joined the Ring in 1952 by invitation), some well known first generation magicians included Lim Hap Hin, Tan Choon Tee, Tan Bah Chee, Yeo Before long Kian and his scholar Michael Lim.
The Great Wong operated the first magic store from his residence cum showroom/ workshop in Singapore at 255-A Jalan Besar where he bought his own handcrafted props as nicely as imported supplier items from Japan. (This home/ shop was ruined in a fireplace in Dec 1988 leading to him to lose most of his publications and props)
During this interval, magicians like The Wonderful Wong, Tan Bah Chee, Lim Hap Hin and Tan Choon Tee executed magic programs at the National Theatre Club and the YMCA. They have been responsible for generating lively 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 distinct venues throughout the place. In addition to local magicians carrying out in night clubs, overseas magicians these kinds of as Socar executed a grand illusion display to a entire house at the Capitol Theatre (alongside Stamford Highway) and The Fantastic Nicholas at the Sky Theater in The Wonderful Entire world Amusement Park at Kim Seng Street (Now, Fantastic World City).
In the late 60s, Wee Peng Guan (Uncle of Charles Choo), opened the second magic shop in Singapore at a shop home along Robinson Street. Close to that time, well-liked 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 Hotel stands at present).
During this 10 years, Tan Choon Tee was making a identify for himself in the intercontinental magic community in the subject of Mentalism. He gained several global Linking Ring Awards for his One particular-Guy Parades and has two textbooks revealed by Micky Hades. He was also a normal contributor to numerous intercontinental magic publications these kinds of as Gen, New Pentagram, Magicgram, Magicana and The Linking Ring.
Overseas magicians whom handed by way of Singapore incorporated Milo & Roger, Milbourne Christopher and Maurice Fogel.
The 1970s saw the delivery of the 2nd generation of Singapore magicians. Some nicely-known magicians who acquired started out in the course of this time included The Excellent 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 friendly ‘rivalry’ to the IBM Ring. The club was led by Tan Bah Chee with distinguished founding members this kind of as Lim Hap Hin, Tan Hock Chuan and Charles Choo.
Magic shops 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 store in Peninsula Plaza. Charles Choo opened his store in August 1978 on the sixth flooring of Considerably East Searching Centre. (It would go a number of instances to different malls but eventually returned back again to Far East). His shop would before long grow to be an institution in which magicians would get different magic merchandise as effectively as meet up and understand from every other.
It was a selection haunt for numerous magicians in the years to arrive until the store closed in the new millennium.
During this period, The Tropicana Night time Club, which was positioned at Pacific Plaza, was a venue that experienced standard magic performances. Several popular magicians also frequented Singapore in the 70s. In 1970, John Calvert executed at the Countrywide Theatre. In 1972, Albert Goshman frequented Ring one hundred fifteen to give a lecture. In that exact same year, “The Professor” Dai Vernon also visited Singapore, lectured and interacted with nearby magicians. Other checking out magicians included Andre Kole, Billy McComb, and Ali Bongo.
By the 1980s, the nearby magic scene was flourishing with wholesome memberships for the two primary magic clubs as nicely as a surge in the quantity of doing magicians. Many of modern veterans manufactured their identify in the 80s. Acquainted names like Richard Ang, Patrick Wan, Patrick Ng Wang Lin, Tan Hai Yan AKA Gician, Paul Koh, AB Francis and Gordon Koh ended up carrying out routinely at general public and personal exhibits during this 10 years. Popular regional venues for public magic displays by magic clubs held on a standard foundation at that time provided the Drama Centre and the National Museum Theatrette.
The recognition of magic outlets also grew and in 1982, Chew Kin Track opened a Magic & Novelty Corner at the Chinese Guide Area of Common Guide Co Pte Ltd on the 4th Ground of Bras Basah Complex. Gician Tan also opened up his initial magic store at Parkway Parade which subsequently moved to Marina Square and was managed by Richard Ang. Besides this main store, he dispersed magic items and sets by means of section stores
in Singapore and South East Asia.The Singapore audience was also uncovered to globe-course magic via several magic tv exhibits and series that ended up aired on nearby Tv which includes the David Copperfield specials, Magic Magic and The Ideal of Magic.
Foreign magicians who visited Singapore throughout this time incorporated David Copperfield, Mark Wilson, Ben Harris, Paul Daniels and Gene Anderson.
The starting of this decade observed the introduction of the country’s third technology magicians into the regional 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 local chapter of Intercontinental Magicians Culture was formed, launched by its President, Tan Bah Chee even though the club’s presence in Singapore was brief-lived.
The late-nineties observed a huge surge in magic world-wide reputation due to David Blaine’s street magic specials. A lot of people commenced to ‘get into’ magic and experienced new mediums to find out the craft this kind of as the introduction of DVDs and the Internet.
A new magic shop, Magic Castle & Promotions, opened up by Vijay Kumar at Shaw Towers shortly became ‘the location to be’ exactly where new magicians would hang out and meet up with.
Throughout this 10 years, Wang Leng’s shop in Peninsula Plaza was offered to Patrick Wan. The shop was subsequently marketed to Richard Ang and is now nicely acknowledged as Ang Residence of Magic. Patrick Wan opened his new shop, Magic Wand, which has spawned into numerous retailers in numerous components of Singapore. Steven Sim also opened Magic Supreme at Coronation Plaza which has subsequently moved to Park Mall.
Manifest Magic Into Your Life was an exciting ten years with several visits and performances by renowned magicians. Aside from lectures 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 visiting magicians included Larry Becker, Tim Ellis, Terry Seabrooke, Phil Cass and Albert Tham.
2000 – Existing
Magic has continued to prosper at the local level in this decade. New chances and talents have emerged to elevate the artwork in Singapore. In Might 2000, J C Sum staged the first at any time neighborhood entire-night theatre present ‘Magic at the Theatre’ at Victoria Theatre. Just a thirty day period later on, much more than a dozen magicians from the US and Canada arrived down to Singapore as component of the Magic Pageant structured by the Malls of Centrepoint. Magicians these kinds of as Robert Baxt, Rocco and Peter Gossamer carried out multiple demonstrates at numerous Centrepoint Malls for over 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 fanatics collectively. SMC has considering that developed to over 1000 members and regularly manage gatherings, events as properly as the current Idea:Magic Micro MAGIC Convention in January 2007.
Through a big-scale theatre magic musical ‘Magic of Love’, Lawrence Khong, a pastor with Religion Group Baptist Church and his daughter Pricilla, spread the gospel concept.
The multi-million dollar generation has been staged several occasions over the years across the globe to spread the term of Christ. Subsequently, the same staff structured two Global Competition of Magic conventions in 2003 & 2005. The very first of its kind big magic occasions provided competitions, lectures, a dealers’ area and performances. International performers this kind of as Jeff McBride, Max Maven, Johnny Thomspon, The Pendragons, Lee Eun Gyeol and Tommy Question ended up booked to perform at the gala shows and lectures.
In current many years, J C Sum has grow to be arguably the most distinguished Singapore magician of this era. His magic has been observed by hundreds of thousands via his live performances throughout Asia as effectively 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 currently be observed day-to-day on Singapore Push Holdings MediaBoxOffice by means of 2007. In the intercontinental magic group, J C has also established himself as an elite illusion designer from Asia with the publication of his three critically acclaimed illusion textbooks that have been bought in more than 30 countries to date.
One more talented award-profitable magician, Jeremy Pei, is boosting the profile of Singapore magic within the regional magic neighborhood with his theatre displays, organized lectures, workshops and active participation in magic conventions & competitions in Japan, Korea, China, Thailand and Australia. His exclusive North-Asian affect type of magic efficiency has garnered him a following with new budding magicians whom he teaches and guides. He has also released numerous first magic goods which are offered to magicians globally.
In one more first, award-profitable junior magician, Kyle Ravin secured a thirteen-episode weekly Road Magic series, “Maya” on MediaCorp Studios’ Vasantham Central. This 30min series saw him execute magic for the Indian group and celebs throughout the place.
This decade has observed the introduction of even more magic stores and sellers run by young magicians to meet the need of magic lovers and magicians. These incorporate new ‘brick & mortar’ magic outlets such as Road Magic by Tan Wei Ping, Difficult Company by Jimmy Wong, The Magic Corridor by Kenneth Peh as properly as on-line stores like The Minor Magic Shop by Ning.