This post is to introduce magicians and magic fans to the wealthy background of magic in Singapore. It honours the noteworthy achievements, prominence and importance of nearby magicians from the previous and present.
The starting of Modern day Magic in Singapore
It is the standard consensus that modern magic in Singapore (post Planet War 2) started with the late-Ng Bo
Oen AKA The Excellent Wong. Information on nearby magic pre-war is very scarce. The only details discovered has been on The Great Wong performing at the New World Amusement Park (then situated at Kitchener Road) in the nineteen thirties.
The Excellent Wong was born in 1908 in Shanton, a metropolis of the Guangdong Province, China and immigrated to Singapore in 1933. He was the only skilled magician of his time in Singapore and done throughout South East Asia. He was acknowledged for his sharp stage magic, Linking Rings regimen and Sword Basket illusion. He was also an skilled craftsman who built all of his props by hand. He experienced the reward 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 global magic local community by publishing his famous linking rings program 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 execute at the 15th World Congree of Magic in Lausanne, Switzerland.
(For far more information on The Excellent Wong refer to ‘The Fantastic Wong Story’ in The International Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring one hundred fifteen The Quantum Ring Golden Jubilee Situation)
One more local magician who was instrumental in expanding contemporary magic in Singapore for the duration of the commencing was the late-Tan Hock Chuan. He was a instructor by occupation but carried out for once-a-year special activities, charity displays and personal functions. He was (and nonetheless is) internationally identified for his magical inventions. His effects and concepts are still marketed supplier things right now and have been printed in numerous publications (of that time) this kind of as Gen, Spinx, Pentagram, New Pentagram, Swami Mantra, Abracadabra and even Tarbell’s Program in Magic. He is the initial Asian magician to get the Spinx Award (1936-37)
Both The Wonderful Wong and Tan Hock Chuan had been essential influences to several of the first generation of Singapore present day-magicians who have paved the way for future generations.
It was only after the war and throughout the British Military Administration that magic in Singapore commenced its rise to where it is nowadays. 1950 was the calendar year that the Singapore Magician’s Club was formed by a group of amateur magicians, comprising of English-educated specialists.
In 1951 the Singapore Magician’s Club gained their constitution from The Worldwide Brotherhood of Magicians HQ in The us and was from then on was formally acknowledged as The Global Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring a hundred and fifteen. Founding customers of the club at that time included 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 delivery to Singapore’s initial era of modern day magicians. Besides the founding members of the IBM Ring and The Excellent Wong (who joined the Ring in 1952 by invitation), some distinguished initial generation magicians provided Lim Hap Hin, Tan Choon Tee, Tan Bah Chee, Yeo Before long Kian and his pupil Michael Lim.
The Excellent Wong operated the very first magic store from his residence cum showroom/ workshop in Singapore at 255-A Jalan Besar exactly where he offered his personal handcrafted props as properly as imported seller products from Japan. (This house/ shop was wrecked in a fireplace in Dec 1988 causing him to drop most of his textbooks and props)
For the duration of this period of time, magicians like The Wonderful Wong, Tan Bah Chee, Lim Hap Hin and Tan Choon Tee executed magic courses at the Nationwide Theatre Club and the YMCA. They have been responsible 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 performing at diverse venues across the place. Apart from neighborhood magicians executing in night time clubs, international magicians such as Socar carried out a grand illusion show to a entire residence at the Capitol Theatre (together Stamford Street) and The Great Nicholas at the Sky Theater in The Wonderful Globe Amusement Park at Kim Seng Road (Now, Great Planet City).
In the late 60s, Wee Peng Guan (Uncle of Charles Choo), opened the next magic store in Singapore at a shop property along Robinson Street. Around that time, common entertainer Victor Khoo’s father Khoo Teng Heng who was a magician, a ventriloquist and hypnotist opened his magic shop at Bras Basah. (where Carlton Resort stands at the moment).
Throughout this ten years, Tan Choon Tee was creating a title for himself in the international magic neighborhood in the area of Mentalism. He won many intercontinental Linking Ring Awards for his A single-Guy Parades and has two books revealed by Micky Hades. He was also a standard contributor to numerous intercontinental magic journals this sort 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 observed the start of the second era of Singapore magicians. Some nicely-identified magicians who obtained started out in the course of this time provided The Fantastic 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 Affiliation of Magicians was founded on 10 March 1973 in friendly ‘rivalry’ to the IBM Ring. The club was led by Tan Bah Chee with prominent founding users these kinds of as Lim Hap Hin, Tan Hock Chuan and Charles Choo.
Magic outlets in Singapore commenced to spring up in the course 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 shop in August 1978 on the 6th floor of Significantly East Purchasing Centre. (It would transfer a number of occasions to a variety of malls but ultimately returned back to Significantly East). His shop would quickly become an institution the place magicians would get different magic products as properly as satisfy up and learn from every single other.
It was a variety haunt for a lot of magicians in the years to occur until the shop shut in the new millennium.
Throughout this period, The Tropicana Night time Club, which was positioned at Pacific Plaza, was a location that had normal magic performances. Numerous famous magicians also frequented Singapore in the 70s. In 1970, John Calvert carried out at the Countrywide Theatre. In 1972, Albert Goshman visited Ring a hundred and fifteen to give a lecture. In that identical yr, “The Professor” Dai Vernon also visited Singapore, lectured and interacted with nearby magicians. Other checking out magicians incorporated Andre Kole, Billy McComb, and Ali Bongo.
By the 1980s, the local magic scene was flourishing with healthy memberships for the two primary magic clubs as well as a surge in the amount of doing magicians. A lot of of modern veterans manufactured their name 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 doing regularly at general public and private shows for the duration of this ten years. Well-known regional venues for public magic shows by magic golf equipment held on a typical basis at that time incorporated the Drama Centre and the Nationwide Museum Theatrette.
The reputation of magic retailers also grew and in 1982, Chew Kin Music opened a Magic & Novelty Corner at the Chinese Book Part of Well-known Guide Co Pte Ltd on the 4th Floor of Bras Basah Intricate. Gician Tan also opened up his 1st magic shop at Parkway Parade which subsequently moved to Marina Square and was managed by Richard Ang. Aside from this principal shop, he distributed magic items and sets through section shops
in Singapore and South East Asia.The Singapore audience was also uncovered to world-class magic by means of a number of magic television shows and collection that ended up aired on nearby Tv which includes the David Copperfield specials, Magic Magic and The Greatest of Magic.
International magicians who visited Singapore in the course of this time integrated David Copperfield, Mark Wilson, Ben Harris, Paul Daniels and Gene Anderson.
The commencing of this decade saw the introduction of the country’s 3rd generation magicians into the neighborhood magic scene. Notable 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 local chapter of Global Magicians Society was shaped, established by its President, Tan Bah Chee despite the fact that the club’s existence in Singapore was short-lived.
The late-nineteen nineties saw a enormous surge in magic worldwide reputation due to David Blaine’s avenue magic specials. Several men and women started to ‘get into’ magic and had new mediums to find out the craft this sort of as the introduction of DVDs and the Internet.
A new magic shop, Magic Castle & Promotions, opened up by Vijay Kumar at Shaw Towers quickly turned ‘the location to be’ where new magicians would hang out and meet.
In the course of this 10 years, Wang Leng’s store in Peninsula Plaza was offered to Patrick Wan. Manifest Magic Into Your Life was subsequently offered to Richard Ang and is now properly known as Ang Property of Magic. Patrick Wan opened his new shop, Magic Wand, which has spawned into numerous shops in various components 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 a lot of visits and performances by well-known 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 checking out magicians included Larry Becker, Tim Ellis, Terry Seabrooke, Phil Cass and Albert Tham.
2000 – Existing
Magic has ongoing to flourish at the nearby degree in this decade. New opportunities and talents have emerged to elevate the artwork in Singapore. In Could 2000, J C Sum staged the first at any time regional entire-night theatre present ‘Magic at the Theatre’ at Victoria Theatre. Just a month later, more than a dozen magicians from the US and Canada arrived down to Singapore as element of the Magic Pageant structured by the Malls of Centrepoint. Magicians these kinds of as Robert Baxt, Rocco and Peter Gossamer executed numerous demonstrates at numerous Centrepoint Malls for in excess of a 7 days.
In 2004, the Singapore Magic Circle (SMC) was created by Aloysius Yeo and with its on-line discussion board drew a new pool of magic lovers together. SMC has given that developed to over 1000 associates and regularly arrange gatherings, functions as properly as the recent Notion:Magic Micro MAGIC Convention in January 2007.
Via a massive-scale theatre magic musical ‘Magic of Love’, Lawrence Khong, a pastor with Faith Group Baptist Church and his daughter Pricilla, spread the gospel message.
The multi-million dollar generation has been staged a lot of instances above the years across the entire world to distribute the phrase of Christ. Subsequently, the same staff organized two Global Festival of Magic conventions in 2003 & 2005. The first of its kind huge magic activities provided 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 carry out at the gala shows and lectures.
In modern years, J C Sum has turn out to be arguably the most prominent Singapore magician of this generation. His magic has been seen by tens of millions via his stay performances across Asia as effectively as his landmark mass media tasks on MediaCorp Studio’s Ch 8 as well as subsequent ‘Street Illusions’ compilation DVD/ VCD.
His 24-episode ‘Magic in Motion’ collection can currently be noticed every day on Singapore Press Holdings MediaBoxOffice via 2007. In the global magic neighborhood, J C has also established himself as an elite illusion designer from Asia with the publication of his 3 critically acclaimed illusion publications that have been marketed in more than thirty nations around the world to date.
Another proficient award-successful magician, Jeremy Pei, is boosting the profile of Singapore magic inside the regional magic neighborhood with his theatre demonstrates, arranged lectures, workshops and active participation in magic conventions & competitions in Japan, Korea, China, Thailand and Australia. His distinct North-Asian affect style of magic functionality has garnered him a following with new budding magicians whom he teaches and guides. He has also unveiled numerous first magic items which are obtainable to magicians throughout the world.
In one more first, award-profitable junior magician, Kyle Ravin secured a 13-episode weekly Street Magic series, “Maya” on MediaCorp Studios’ Vasantham Central. This 30min series noticed him complete magic for the Indian neighborhood and celebrities throughout the country.
This ten years has seen the introduction of even a lot more magic stores and sellers run by youthful magicians to meet the demand of magic fans and magicians. These contain new ‘brick & mortar’ magic shops such as Avenue Magic by Tan Wei Ping, Difficult Enterprise by Jimmy Wong, The Magic Corridor by Kenneth Peh as nicely as on-line shops like The Minor Magic Store by Ning.