This report is to introduce magicians and magic fans to the prosperous heritage of magic in Singapore. It honours the noteworthy achievements, prominence and importance of nearby magicians from the previous and current.
The commencing of Present day Magic in Singapore
It is the standard consensus that modern day magic in Singapore (put up World War two) commenced with the late-Ng Bo
Oen AKA The Wonderful Wong. Details on neighborhood magic pre-war is extremely scarce. The only info discovered has been on The Great Wong executing at the New World Amusement Park (then located at Kitchener Street) in the 1930s.
The Wonderful Wong was born in 1908 in Shanton, a town of the Guangdong Province, China and immigrated to Singapore in 1933. He was the only skilled magician of his time in Singapore and done across South East Asia. He was identified for his sharp stage magic, Linking Rings routine and Sword Basket illusion. He was also an expert craftsman who built 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 Excellent Wong created a important contribution to the intercontinental magic group by publishing his famous linking rings schedule 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 carry out at the 15th Planet Congree of Magic in Lausanne, Switzerland.
(For far more details on The Great Wong refer to ‘The Excellent Wong Story’ in The Worldwide Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring 115 The Quantum Ring Golden Jubilee Problem)
Another regional magician who was instrumental in developing contemporary magic in Singapore throughout the starting was the late-Tan Hock Chuan. He was a teacher by career but executed for annual unique functions, charity shows and personal parties. He was (and even now is) internationally identified for his magical innovations. His consequences and suggestions are even now marketed seller things these days and have been revealed in countless 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 very first Asian magician to acquire the Spinx Award (1936-37)
Each The Excellent Wong and Tan Hock Chuan ended up important influences to many of the first technology of Singapore modern-magicians who have paved the way for long term generations.
It was only following the war and in the course of the British Navy Administration that magic in Singapore commenced its increase to in which it is right now. 1950 was the 12 months that the Singapore Magician’s Club was fashioned by a team of beginner magicians, comprising of English-educated pros.
In 1951 the Singapore Magician’s Club received their charter from The International Brotherhood of Magicians HQ in The usa and was from then on was formally acknowledged as The International Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring 115. Founding users of the club at that time included Tan Ewe Chee (President), Yeo Before long 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 first generation of modern day magicians. Besides the founding users of the IBM Ring and The Great Wong (who joined the Ring in 1952 by invitation), some distinguished 1st era magicians provided Lim Hap Hin, Tan Choon Tee, Tan Bah Chee, Yeo Soon Kian and his scholar Michael Lim.
The Great Wong operated the first magic store from his house cum showroom/ workshop in Singapore at 255-A Jalan Besar exactly where he sold his possess handcrafted props as properly as imported supplier objects from Japan. (This house/ store was wrecked in a fireplace in Dec 1988 leading to him to shed most of his publications and props)
In the course of this interval, magicians like The Great Wong, Tan Bah Chee, Lim Hap Hin and Tan Choon Tee conducted magic classes at the Countrywide Theatre Club and the YMCA. They ended up responsible for making lively 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 doing at diverse venues throughout the nation. Aside from nearby magicians executing in night clubs, international magicians this kind of as Socar performed a grand illusion present to a entire home at the Capitol Theatre (together Stamford Highway) and The Excellent Nicholas at the Sky Theater in The Fantastic Planet Amusement Park at Kim Seng Highway (Now, Fantastic World Metropolis).
In the late 60s, Wee Peng Guan (Uncle of Charles Choo), opened the second magic store in Singapore at a shop property alongside 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. (exactly where Carlton Resort stands presently).
In the course of this decade, Tan Choon Tee was creating a identify for himself in the global magic local community in the field of Mentalism. He won several international Linking Ring Awards for his One particular-Male Parades and has two guides released by Micky Hades. He was also a typical contributor to several worldwide magic journals this sort of as Gen, New Pentagram, Magicgram, Magicana and The Linking Ring.
Abroad magicians whom passed by means of Singapore provided Milo & Roger, Milbourne Christopher and Maurice Fogel.
The 1970s observed the delivery of the next generation of Singapore magicians. Some nicely-identified magicians who acquired began 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 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 helpful ‘rivalry’ to the IBM Ring. The club was led by Tan Bah Chee with well known founding users such as Lim Hap Hin, Tan Hock Chuan and Charles Choo.
Magic retailers in Singapore commenced to spring up during the late seventies. Ng Kee Chee established 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 flooring of Much East Shopping Centre. (It would move several times to various malls but sooner or later returned again to Considerably East). His store would quickly turn out to be an institution exactly where magicians would purchase numerous magic products as well as meet up and find out from each other.
It was a variety haunt for many magicians in the many years to appear until the shop shut in the new millennium.
Throughout this period of time, The Tropicana Evening Club, which was situated at Pacific Plaza, was a venue that experienced regular magic performances. Several renowned magicians also visited Singapore in the 70s. In 1970, John Calvert carried out at the National Theatre. In 1972, Albert Goshman visited Ring 115 to give a lecture. In that same year, “The Professor” Dai Vernon also visited Singapore, lectured and interacted with nearby magicians. Other going to magicians provided Andre Kole, Billy McComb, and Ali Bongo.
By the nineteen eighties, the neighborhood magic scene was flourishing with wholesome memberships for the two major magic clubs as properly as a surge in the amount of executing magicians. A lot of of modern veterans made their identify in the 80s. Manifest Magic Review like Richard Ang, Patrick Wan, Patrick Ng Wang Lin, Tan Hai Yan AKA Gician, Paul Koh, AB Francis and Gordon Koh ended up doing frequently at community and personal demonstrates in the course of this ten years. Popular regional venues for public magic demonstrates by magic golf equipment held on a regular 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 Song opened a Magic & Novelty Corner at the Chinese Guide Segment of Common Ebook Co Pte Ltd on the 4th Flooring of Bras Basah Complex. 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. Aside from this major store, he dispersed magic products and sets through department shops
in Singapore and South East Asia.The Singapore viewers was also exposed to world-class magic via a number of magic television demonstrates and collection that had been aired on local Tv set such as the David Copperfield specials, Magic Magic and The Best of Magic.
International magicians who frequented Singapore for the duration of this time integrated David Copperfield, Mark Wilson, Ben Harris, Paul Daniels and Gene Anderson.
The starting of this 10 years saw the introduction of the country’s 3rd technology magicians into the nearby magic scene. Prominent budding magicians provided 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 Worldwide Magicians Society was fashioned, started by its President, Tan Bah Chee despite the fact that the club’s presence in Singapore was brief-lived.
The late-nineties observed a enormous surge in magic worldwide reputation due to David Blaine’s street magic specials. A lot of folks began to ‘get into’ magic and had new mediums to discover the craft this kind of as the introduction of DVDs and the Net.
A new magic shop, Magic Castle & Promotions, opened up by Vijay Kumar at Shaw Towers quickly turned ‘the area to be’ exactly where new magicians would hang out and meet.
Throughout this 10 years, Wang Leng’s store in Peninsula Plaza was offered to Patrick Wan. The shop was subsequently offered to Richard Ang and is now nicely identified as Ang Property of Magic. Patrick Wan opened his new shop, Magic Wand, which has spawned into many retailers in various 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 10 years with numerous visits and performances by famous magicians. Aside 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 checking out magicians provided Larry Becker, Tim Ellis, Terry Seabrooke, Phil Cass and Albert Tham.
2000 – Current
Magic has continued to prosper at the nearby stage in this decade. New options and abilities have emerged to elevate the art in Singapore. In May possibly 2000, J C Sum staged the initial at any time local full-night theatre show ‘Magic at the Theatre’ at Victoria Theatre. Just a month later on, more than a dozen magicians from the US and Canada came down to Singapore as element of the Magic Pageant organized by the Malls of Centrepoint. Magicians this sort of as Robert Baxt, Rocco and Peter Gossamer executed numerous shows at various Centrepoint Malls for above 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 fans together. SMC has considering that grown to over a thousand users and regularly organize gatherings, activities as properly as the modern Principle:Magic Micro MAGIC Conference in January 2007.
By means of a big-scale theatre magic musical ‘Magic of Love’, Lawrence Khong, a pastor with Religion Local community Baptist Church and his daughter Pricilla, unfold the gospel concept.
The multi-million greenback creation has been staged a lot of times more than the many years throughout the entire world to spread the phrase of Christ. Subsequently, the identical crew arranged two Global Pageant of Magic conventions in 2003 & 2005. The 1st of its kind large magic activities incorporated competitions, lectures, a dealers’ area and performances. Global performers this kind of as Jeff McBride, Max Maven, Johnny Thomspon, The Pendragons, Lee Eun Gyeol and Tommy Question ended up booked to carry out at the gala shows and lectures.
In current several years, J C Sum has turn out to be arguably the most distinguished Singapore magician of this generation. His magic has been observed by hundreds of thousands via his reside performances throughout Asia as well as his landmark mass media assignments on MediaCorp Studio’s Ch eight as properly as subsequent ‘Street Illusions’ compilation DVD/ VCD.
His 24-episode ‘Magic in Motion’ sequence can at the moment be seen day-to-day on Singapore Push Holdings MediaBoxOffice via 2007. In the intercontinental magic neighborhood, J C has also recognized himself as an elite illusion designer from Asia with the publication of his 3 critically acclaimed illusion textbooks that have been bought in more than thirty nations to day.
Yet another talented award-successful magician, Jeremy Pei, is elevating the profile of Singapore magic in the regional magic local community with his theatre shows, organized lectures, workshops and lively participation in magic conventions & competitions in Japan, Korea, China, Thailand and Australia. His distinct North-Asian impact style of magic performance has garnered him a pursuing with new budding magicians whom he teaches and guides. He has also introduced several first magic goods which are offered to magicians globally.
In yet another initial, award-successful junior magician, Kyle Ravin secured a 13-episode weekly Avenue Magic series, “Maya” on MediaCorp Studios’ Vasantham Central. This 30min sequence observed him complete magic for the Indian local community and famous people across the place.
This ten years has seen the introduction of even a lot more magic shops and sellers run by youthful magicians to meet the demand from customers of magic lovers and magicians. These contain new ‘brick & mortar’ magic outlets this kind of as Street Magic by Tan Wei Ping, Challenging Organization by Jimmy Wong, The Magic Hall by Kenneth Peh as properly as on-line shops like The Little Magic Shop by Ning.