This post is to introduce magicians and magic fanatics to the abundant heritage of magic in Singapore. It honours the notable achievements, prominence and significance of local magicians from the previous and existing.
The commencing of Modern Magic in Singapore
It is the basic consensus that present day magic in Singapore (submit Globe War two) commenced with the late-Ng Bo
Oen AKA The Excellent Wong. Information on regional magic pre-war is really scarce. The only data identified has been on The Excellent Wong performing at the New Planet Amusement Park (then found at Kitchener Street) in the nineteen thirties.
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 professional magician of his time in Singapore and performed across South East Asia. He was recognized for his sharp phase magic, Linking Rings routine and Sword Basket illusion. He was also an skilled craftsman who constructed 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 Fantastic Wong created a substantial contribution to the intercontinental magic community by publishing his renowned linking rings program 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 complete at the fifteenth World Congree of Magic in Lausanne, Switzerland.
(For a lot more data on The Wonderful Wong refer to ‘The Excellent Wong Story’ in The Intercontinental Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring a hundred and fifteen The Quantum Ring Golden Jubilee Concern)
An additional neighborhood magician who was instrumental in developing present day magic in Singapore throughout the beginning was the late-Tan Hock Chuan. magicien professionnel was a teacher by career but carried out for yearly special activities, charity shows and private functions. He was (and nevertheless is) internationally acknowledged for his magical inventions. His results and ideas are even now promoted supplier items right now and have been printed in many 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 initial Asian magician to get the Spinx Award (1936-37)
Equally The Fantastic Wong and Tan Hock Chuan had been critical influences to numerous of the first generation of Singapore contemporary-magicians who have paved the way for foreseeable future generations.
It was only following the war and in the course of the British Navy Administration that magic in Singapore commenced its rise to the place it is nowadays. 1950 was the calendar year that the Singapore Magician’s Club was shaped by a group of newbie magicians, comprising of English-educated pros.
In 1951 the Singapore Magician’s Club acquired their charter from The Intercontinental Brotherhood of Magicians HQ in America and was from then on was formally acknowledged as The Global Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring 115. Founding customers 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 era of modern magicians. Apart from the founding members of the IBM Ring and The Fantastic Wong (who joined the Ring in 1952 by invitation), some well known initial generation magicians integrated Lim Hap Hin, Tan Choon Tee, Tan Bah Chee, Yeo Soon Kian and his student Michael Lim.
The Fantastic Wong operated the very first magic store from his property cum showroom/ workshop in Singapore at 255-A Jalan Besar where he sold his possess handcrafted props as nicely as imported seller things from Japan. (This house/ store was ruined in a fireplace in Dec 1988 causing him to drop most of his guides and props)
During this time period, magicians like The Fantastic Wong, Tan Bah Chee, Lim Hap Hin and Tan Choon Tee carried out magic courses at the Nationwide Theatre Club and the YMCA. They ended up liable for generating 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 saw the ‘Golden Age’ of magic with magicians carrying out at distinct venues across the nation. Besides regional magicians executing in evening golf equipment, international magicians such as Socar performed a grand illusion show to a total home at the Capitol Theatre (alongside Stamford Road) and The Great Nicholas at the Sky Theater in The Wonderful World Amusement Park at Kim Seng Street (Now, Fantastic World City).
In the late 60s, Wee Peng Guan (Uncle of Charles Choo), opened the 2nd magic shop in Singapore at a store residence alongside Robinson Street. Around 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. (the place Carlton Resort stands presently).
Throughout this decade, Tan Choon Tee was producing a identify for himself in the worldwide magic neighborhood in the discipline of Mentalism. He received a number of 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 several intercontinental magic journals such as Gen, New Pentagram, Magicgram, Magicana and The Linking Ring.
Abroad magicians whom passed through Singapore integrated Milo & Roger, Milbourne Christopher and Maurice Fogel.
The seventies saw the start of the 2nd generation of Singapore magicians. Some effectively-recognized magicians who acquired started out in the course of this time integrated The Great Wong’s son Ng Kee Chee, John Teo, Tang Sai Thong, Ng Seow Kiat, Tang Yeng Enjoyable, Bob Chua, Eric Leong, Tan Teck Seng, Lawrence Tham, Tan Tuan Seng, Lawrence Khong and Andrew Kong.
The Singapore Association of Magicians was launched on ten March 1973 in helpful ‘rivalry’ to the IBM Ring. The club was led by Tan Bah Chee with prominent founding members this kind of as Lim Hap Hin, Tan Hock Chuan and Charles Choo.
Magic shops in Singapore commenced to spring up throughout 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 sixth ground of Considerably East Purchasing Centre. (It would go many instances to different malls but at some point returned back again to Considerably East). His store would before long grow to be an establishment exactly where magicians would acquire different magic goods as nicely as meet up with up and understand from each and every other.
It was a variety haunt for several magicians in the a long time to arrive until the shop closed in the new millennium.
Throughout this interval, The Tropicana Night time Club, which was located at Pacific Plaza, was a venue that had regular magic performances. Several renowned magicians also visited Singapore in the 70s. In 1970, John Calvert carried out at the Nationwide Theatre. In 1972, Albert Goshman frequented Ring one hundred fifteen to give a lecture. In that same year, “The Professor” Dai Vernon also frequented Singapore, lectured and interacted with nearby magicians. Other going to magicians incorporated Andre Kole, Billy McComb, and Ali Bongo.
By the 1980s, the local magic scene was flourishing with healthy memberships for the two major magic golf equipment as effectively as a surge in the variety of performing magicians. Numerous of modern veterans created 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 had been performing routinely at community and non-public shows during this ten years. Common neighborhood venues for public magic demonstrates by magic clubs held on a normal foundation at that time integrated the Drama Centre and the Countrywide Museum Theatrette.
The recognition of magic outlets also grew and in 1982, Chew Kin Music opened a Magic & Novelty Corner at the Chinese Book Part of Well-liked Guide Co Pte Ltd on the 4th Floor of Bras Basah Sophisticated. Gician Tan also opened up his first magic shop at Parkway Parade which subsequently moved to Marina Sq. and was managed by Richard Ang. In addition to this main shop, he distributed magic products and sets via office stores
in Singapore and South East Asia.The Singapore audience was also uncovered to world-course magic by means of a number of magic television exhibits and collection that have been aired on local Television which includes the David Copperfield specials, Magic Magic and The Best of Magic.
Foreign magicians who frequented Singapore throughout this time included David Copperfield, Mark Wilson, Ben Harris, Paul Daniels and Gene Anderson.
The beginning of this ten years observed the introduction of the country’s third technology magicians into the nearby 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 International Magicians Culture was fashioned, established by its President, Tan Bah Chee despite the fact that the club’s presence in Singapore was short-lived.
The late-nineties saw a massive surge in magic world-wide popularity owing to David Blaine’s road magic specials. Numerous individuals started out to ‘get into’ magic and experienced new mediums to learn the craft such as the introduction of DVDs and the Web.
A new magic shop, Magic Castle & Promotions, opened up by Vijay Kumar at Shaw Towers before long grew to become ‘the spot to be’ exactly where new magicians would dangle out and satisfy.
During this 10 years, Wang Leng’s store in Peninsula Plaza was marketed to Patrick Wan. The store was subsequently bought 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 several outlets in various areas 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 numerous visits and performances by well-known magicians. Apart from lectures by Michael & Hannah Ammar, Mark Leveridge and Wolfgang & Sonja Riebe there ended up 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 – Existing
Magic has continued to prosper at the regional degree in this decade. New opportunities and abilities have emerged to elevate the artwork in Singapore. In Might 2000, J C Sum staged the very first ever nearby entire-evening theatre display ‘Magic at the Theatre’ at Victoria Theatre. Just a thirty day period later on, far more than a dozen magicians from the US and Canada arrived down to Singapore as portion of the Magic Festival arranged by the Malls of Centrepoint. Magicians this sort of as Robert Baxt, Rocco and Peter Gossamer performed numerous exhibits at various Centrepoint Malls for above a week.
In 2004, the Singapore Magic Circle (SMC) was designed by Aloysius Yeo and with its on-line forum drew a new pool of magic fans together. SMC has because grown to more than a thousand members and routinely organize gatherings, activities as well as the recent Concept:Magic Micro MAGIC Conference in January 2007.
Through a massive-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 creation has been staged many moments above the many years across the planet to spread the phrase of Christ. Subsequently, the same crew structured two International Festival of Magic conventions in 2003 & 2005. The 1st of its type big magic functions included competitions, lectures, a dealers’ room and performances. Intercontinental performers such as Jeff McBride, Max Maven, Johnny Thomspon, The Pendragons, Lee Eun Gyeol and Tommy Wonder have been booked to complete at the gala exhibits and lectures.
In latest years, J C Sum has turn out to be arguably the most well known Singapore magician of this technology. His magic has been noticed by hundreds of thousands through his reside performances across Asia as properly as his landmark mass media projects on MediaCorp Studio’s Ch eight as nicely as subsequent ‘Street Illusions’ compilation DVD/ VCD.
His 24-episode ‘Magic in Motion’ collection can at the moment be noticed everyday on Singapore Press Holdings MediaBoxOffice by means of 2007. In the global magic community, J C has also recognized himself as an elite illusion designer from Asia with the publication of his three critically acclaimed illusion publications that have been offered in a lot more than thirty international locations to day.
Another proficient award-successful magician, Jeremy Pei, is increasing the profile of Singapore magic inside 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 distinctive North-Asian influence type of magic efficiency has garnered him a adhering to with new budding magicians whom he teaches and guides. He has also introduced a number of original magic items which are accessible to magicians worldwide.
In one more 1st, award-profitable junior magician, Kyle Ravin secured a thirteen-episode weekly Avenue Magic sequence, “Maya” on MediaCorp Studios’ Vasantham Central. This 30min collection saw him carry out magic for the Indian group and celebrities across the nation.
This ten years has observed the introduction of even far more magic retailers and dealers operate by younger magicians to meet up with the need of magic lovers and magicians. These contain new ‘brick & mortar’ magic outlets this kind of as Street Magic by Tan Wei Ping, Tricky Organization by Jimmy Wong, The Magic Corridor by Kenneth Peh as effectively as on-line shops like The Tiny Magic Shop by Ning.