This write-up is to introduce magicians and magic fanatics to the wealthy background of magic in Singapore. It honours the notable achievements, prominence and significance of nearby magicians from the past and present.
The commencing of Contemporary Magic in Singapore
It is the basic consensus that modern day magic in Singapore (post Planet War 2) started with the late-Ng Bo
Oen AKA The Fantastic Wong. Data on regional magic pre-war is quite scarce. The only data discovered has been on The Wonderful Wong carrying out at the New Entire world Amusement Park (then found at Kitchener Street) in the thirties.
The Wonderful Wong was born in 1908 in Shanton, a metropolis of the Guangdong Province, China and immigrated to Singapore in 1933. He was the only specialist magician of his time in Singapore and carried out across South East Asia. He was acknowledged for his sharp phase magic, Linking Rings routine and Sword Basket illusion. He was also an expert craftsman who developed 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 significant contribution to the worldwide magic community by publishing his well-known 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 perform at the fifteenth Globe Congree of Magic in Lausanne, Switzerland.
(For much more information on The Wonderful Wong refer to ‘The Wonderful Wong Story’ in The International Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring 115 The Quantum Ring Golden Jubilee Issue)
Yet another nearby magician who was instrumental in growing modern day magic in Singapore in the course of the beginning was the late-Tan Hock Chuan. He was a instructor by occupation but performed for once-a-year particular functions, charity shows and private events. He was (and even now is) internationally identified for his magical innovations. His consequences and tips are even now promoted seller objects today 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 Course in Magic. He is the 1st Asian magician to get the Spinx Award (1936-37)
Each The Wonderful Wong and Tan Hock Chuan have been critical influences to several of the first generation of Singapore contemporary-magicians who have paved the way for potential generations.
It was only following the war and during 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 fashioned by a group of newbie magicians, comprising of English-educated pros.
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 officially known as The Global Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring 115. Founding associates of the club at that time included Tan Ewe Chee (President), Yeo Soon 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 1st generation of modern day magicians. In addition to the founding members of the IBM Ring and The Great Wong (who joined the Ring in 1952 by invitation), some well known first era magicians provided Lim Hap Hin, Tan Choon Tee, Tan Bah Chee, Yeo Shortly Kian and his college student Michael Lim.
The Wonderful Wong operated the very first magic shop from his property cum showroom/ workshop in Singapore at 255-A Jalan Besar the place he sold his personal handcrafted props as effectively as imported dealer items from Japan. (This home/ store was destroyed in a fire in Dec 1988 creating him to lose most of his books and props)
During this interval, magicians like The Excellent 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 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 observed the ‘Golden Age’ of magic with magicians performing at different venues across the region. Besides nearby magicians executing in night time clubs, international magicians such as Socar executed a grand illusion show to a total residence at the Capitol Theatre (along Stamford Highway) and The Excellent Nicholas at the Sky Theater in The Great Entire world Amusement Park at Kim Seng Highway (Now, Excellent Entire world Town).
In the late 60s, Wee Peng Guan (Uncle of Charles Choo), opened the next magic store in Singapore at a shop residence together Robinson Highway. All around that time, popular 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 ten years, Tan Choon Tee was generating a name for himself in the global magic group in the discipline of Mentalism. He won many global Linking Ring Awards for his One-Man Parades and has two guides published by Micky Hades. He was also a standard contributor to quite a few international magic publications these kinds of as Gen, New Pentagram, Magicgram, Magicana and The Linking Ring.
Abroad magicians whom handed via Singapore incorporated Milo & Roger, Milbourne Christopher and Maurice Fogel.
The 1970s noticed the start of the 2nd technology of Singapore magicians. Some effectively-identified magicians who obtained started out for the duration of this time provided 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 Affiliation of Magicians was established on 10 March 1973 in helpful ‘rivalry’ to the IBM Ring. The club was led by Tan Bah Chee with prominent founding members such as Lim Hap Hin, Tan Hock Chuan and Charles Choo.
Magic stores in Singapore commenced 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 shop in Peninsula Plaza. Charles Choo opened his shop in August 1978 on the sixth ground of Significantly East Searching Centre. (It would go numerous moments to numerous malls but at some point returned back to Much East). His store would soon turn out to be an institution where magicians would get numerous magic items as effectively as satisfy up and learn from each other.
It was a range haunt for numerous magicians in the a long time to occur until the store closed in the new millennium.
During this period of time, The Tropicana Evening Club, which was situated at Pacific Plaza, was a venue that had typical magic performances. Several popular magicians also frequented Singapore in the 70s. In 1970, John Calvert done at the National Theatre. In 1972, Albert Goshman frequented Ring 115 to give a lecture. In that same yr, “The Professor” Dai Vernon also visited Singapore, lectured and interacted with nearby magicians. Other visiting magicians provided Andre Kole, Billy McComb, and Ali Bongo.
By the 1980s, the neighborhood magic scene was flourishing with healthy memberships for the two major magic clubs as well as a surge in the number of executing magicians. A lot of of today’s veterans made 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 executing often at community and non-public shows for the duration of this 10 years. Common neighborhood venues for general public magic exhibits by magic golf equipment held on a regular foundation at that time integrated the Drama Centre and the Countrywide Museum Theatrette.
The popularity of magic retailers also grew and in 1982, Chew Kin Tune opened a Magic & Novelty Corner at the Chinese Book Part of Popular E-book Co Pte Ltd on the 4th Flooring of Bras Basah Sophisticated. Gician Tan also opened up his first magic store at Parkway Parade which subsequently moved to Marina Square and was managed by Richard Ang. Besides this principal shop, he dispersed magic objects and sets through office merchants
in Singapore and South East Asia.The Singapore viewers was also exposed to entire world-class magic by way of numerous magic tv exhibits and series that ended up aired on nearby Tv set which includes the David Copperfield specials, Magic Magic and The Very best of Magic.
Foreign magicians who visited Singapore throughout this time incorporated David Copperfield, Mark Wilson, Ben Harris, Paul Daniels and Gene Anderson.
The commencing of this 10 years noticed the introduction of the country’s 3rd era magicians into the nearby magic scene. Notable 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 nearby chapter of Global Magicians Modern society was shaped, founded by its President, Tan Bah Chee despite the fact that the club’s presence in Singapore was brief-lived.
The late-nineteen nineties observed a massive surge in magic worldwide reputation thanks to David Blaine’s street magic specials. Several individuals started out to ‘get into’ magic and experienced new mediums to discover the craft this sort of 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 became ‘the place to be’ exactly where new magicians would dangle out and satisfy.
For the duration of this ten years, Wang Leng’s shop in Peninsula Plaza was bought to Patrick Wan. The shop was subsequently bought to Richard Ang and is now well acknowledged as Ang Residence of Magic. Patrick Wan opened his new store, Magic Wand, which has spawned into many stores in numerous parts of Singapore. Steven Sim also opened Magic Supreme at Coronation Plaza which has subsequently moved to Park Mall.
The 90s was an thrilling ten years with numerous visits and performances by renowned magicians. Aside from lectures by Michael & Hannah Ammar, Mark Leveridge and Wolfgang & Sonja Riebe there have been also general public theatre performances by the Pendragons, Princess Tenko, Andre Kole, Franz Harary, David Copperfield, Rudy Coby and Robert Gallop. Other visiting magicians integrated Larry Becker, Tim Ellis, Terry Seabrooke, Phil Cass and Albert Tham.
2000 – Present
Magic has continued to prosper at the nearby amount in this ten years. Manifest Magic Into Your Life and skills have emerged to elevate the art in Singapore. In Might 2000, J C Sum staged the first ever local full-night theatre show ‘Magic at the Theatre’ at Victoria Theatre. Just a thirty day period later, a lot more than a dozen magicians from the US and Canada came down to Singapore as part of the Magic Pageant structured by the Malls of Centrepoint. Magicians these kinds of as Robert Baxt, Rocco and Peter Gossamer performed several demonstrates at different Centrepoint Malls for over a week.
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 enthusiasts collectively. SMC has since grown to more than 1000 members and routinely manage gatherings, activities as effectively as the modern Idea:Magic Micro MAGIC Convention in January 2007.
By means of a huge-scale theatre magic musical ‘Magic of Love’, Lawrence Khong, a pastor with Religion Local community Baptist Church and his daughter Pricilla, distribute the gospel information.
The multi-million dollar generation has been staged a lot of moments in excess of the years across the world to distribute the word of Christ. Subsequently, the very same crew organized two Worldwide Competition of Magic conventions in 2003 & 2005. The first of its sort big magic events provided competitions, lectures, a dealers’ room and performances. Global performers these kinds of as Jeff McBride, Max Maven, Johnny Thomspon, The Pendragons, Lee Eun Gyeol and Tommy Surprise had been booked to carry out at the gala shows and lectures.
In latest a long time, J C Sum has grow to be arguably the most well known Singapore magician of this technology. His magic has been observed by hundreds of thousands by means of his reside performances across Asia as properly as his landmark mass media tasks on MediaCorp Studio’s Ch 8 as properly as subsequent ‘Street Illusions’ compilation DVD/ VCD.
His 24-episode ‘Magic in Motion’ series can at present be noticed day-to-day on Singapore Push Holdings MediaBoxOffice via 2007. In the worldwide magic community, J C has also proven himself as an elite illusion designer from Asia with the publication of his three critically acclaimed illusion guides that have been offered in more than 30 international locations to date.
An additional talented award-successful magician, Jeremy Pei, is elevating the profile of Singapore magic inside the regional magic local community with his theatre displays, arranged lectures, workshops and active participation in magic conventions & competitions in Japan, Korea, China, Thailand and Australia. His distinct North-Asian impact type of magic overall performance has garnered him a following with new budding magicians whom he teaches and guides. He has also unveiled a number of unique magic goods which are offered to magicians globally.
In one more initial, award-successful junior magician, Kyle Ravin secured a 13-episode weekly Avenue Magic sequence, “Maya” on MediaCorp Studios’ Vasantham Central. This 30min collection observed him perform magic for the Indian group and famous people across the place.
This 10 years has observed the introduction of even much more magic retailers and sellers run by younger magicians to fulfill the demand from customers of magic lovers and magicians. These include new ‘brick & mortar’ magic retailers this sort of as Avenue Magic by Tan Wei Ping, Difficult Enterprise by Jimmy Wong, The Magic Hall by Kenneth Peh as well as on-line stores like The Minor Magic Store by Ning.