This article is to introduce magicians and magic fanatics to the rich historical past of magic in Singapore. It honours the notable achievements, prominence and importance of neighborhood magicians from the past and existing.
The commencing of Modern Magic in Singapore
It is the common consensus that modern magic in Singapore (put up World War 2) commenced with the late-Ng Bo
Oen AKA The Fantastic Wong. Details on local magic pre-war is quite scarce. The only data located has been on The Excellent Wong doing at the New Globe Amusement Park (then located at Kitchener Road) in the 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 specialist magician of his time in Singapore and executed across South East Asia. He was recognized for his sharp stage 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 Excellent Wong produced a important contribution to the global magic group by publishing his well-known linking rings regimen with English script written 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 fifteenth Entire world Congree of Magic in Lausanne, Switzerland.
(For far more information on The Wonderful Wong refer to ‘The Wonderful Wong Story’ in The International Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring one hundred fifteen The Quantum Ring Golden Jubilee Problem)
An additional neighborhood magician who was instrumental in increasing contemporary magic in Singapore in the course of the beginning was the late-Tan Hock Chuan. He was a trainer by occupation but executed for once-a-year unique occasions, charity exhibits and personal functions. He was (and even now is) internationally identified for his magical innovations. His consequences and suggestions are nevertheless marketed vendor things nowadays and have been published in a great number of publications (of that time) such as Gen, Spinx, Pentagram, New Pentagram, Swami Mantra, Abracadabra and even Tarbell’s Program in Magic. He is the initial Asian magician to receive the Spinx Award (1936-37)
Equally The Great Wong and Tan Hock Chuan have been critical influences to numerous of the initial technology of Singapore modern day-magicians who have paved the way for foreseeable future generations.
It was only following the war and during the British Navy Administration that magic in Singapore started its rise to exactly where it is nowadays. 1950 was the calendar year that the Singapore Magician’s Club was fashioned by a group of amateur magicians, comprising of English-educated pros.
In 1951 the Singapore Magician’s Club acquired their constitution from The International Brotherhood of Magicians HQ in The united states and was from then on was formally recognized as The Worldwide Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring 115. Founding associates of the club at that time provided 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 start to Singapore’s very first technology of present day magicians. Besides the founding members of the IBM Ring and The Fantastic Wong (who joined the Ring in 1952 by invitation), some prominent initial technology magicians included Lim Hap Hin, Tan Choon Tee, Tan Bah Chee, Yeo Soon Kian and his scholar Michael Lim.
The Wonderful Wong operated the initial magic store from his home cum showroom/ workshop in Singapore at 255-A Jalan Besar in which he sold his very own handcrafted props as nicely as imported dealer objects from Japan. (This house/ store was ruined in a hearth in Dec 1988 leading to him to drop most of his publications and props)
Throughout this period, magicians like The Excellent Wong, Tan Bah Chee, Lim Hap Hin and Tan Choon Tee executed magic classes at the National Theatre Club and the YMCA. They ended up liable for generating active magicians such 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 executing at distinct venues across the country. Besides regional magicians executing in evening golf equipment, overseas magicians this kind of as Socar done a grand illusion demonstrate to a full house at the Capitol Theatre (along Stamford Road) and The Excellent Nicholas at the Sky Theater in The Great Globe Amusement Park at Kim Seng Street (Now, Fantastic Globe Metropolis).
In the late 60s, Wee Peng Guan (Uncle of Charles Choo), opened the 2nd magic store in Singapore at a store residence together Robinson Road. About 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. (the place Carlton Resort stands at present).
In the course of this ten years, Tan Choon Tee was generating a title for himself in the worldwide magic group in the discipline of Mentalism. He gained numerous global Linking Ring Awards for his A single-Male Parades and has two textbooks published by Micky Hades. He was also a regular contributor to several international magic magazines this kind of as Gen, New Pentagram, Magicgram, Magicana and The Linking Ring.
Overseas magicians whom handed by means of Singapore integrated Milo & Roger, Milbourne Christopher and Maurice Fogel.
The seventies observed the beginning of the 2nd generation of Singapore magicians. Some effectively-known magicians who received began during this time incorporated 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 Association of Magicians was established on 10 March 1973 in pleasant ‘rivalry’ to the IBM Ring. The club was led by Tan Bah Chee with prominent founding associates these kinds 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 shop in Peninsula Plaza. Charles Choo opened his store in August 1978 on the sixth ground of Considerably East Shopping Centre. (It would go numerous instances to a variety of malls but at some point returned back to Considerably East). His store would quickly turn out to be an institution where magicians would get different magic items as effectively as fulfill up and understand from every other.
It was a variety haunt for a lot of magicians in the several years to come till the shop shut in the new millennium.
Throughout this interval, The Tropicana Evening Club, which was located at Pacific Plaza, was a venue that had standard magic performances. Numerous popular magicians also visited Singapore in the 70s. In 1970, John Calvert performed at the Countrywide Theatre. In 1972, Albert Goshman frequented Ring 115 to give a lecture. In that exact same yr, “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 eighties, the regional magic scene was flourishing with wholesome memberships for the two major magic golf equipment as properly as a surge in the number of performing magicians. A lot of of present day veterans manufactured their title 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 have been performing regularly at general public and non-public displays throughout this decade. Well-known nearby venues for public magic exhibits by magic clubs held on a typical basis at that time integrated the Drama Centre and the Nationwide Museum Theatrette.
The recognition of magic shops also grew and in 1982, Chew Kin Track opened a Magic & Novelty Corner at the Chinese Guide Section of Well-liked E-book Co Pte Ltd on the 4th Floor of Bras Basah Intricate. 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 store, he distributed magic objects and sets by means of section shops
in Singapore and South East Asia.The Singapore viewers was also exposed to globe-class magic via many magic television shows and series that ended up aired on nearby Tv such as the David Copperfield specials, Magic Magic and The Best of Magic.
Foreign magicians who visited Singapore throughout this time integrated David Copperfield, Mark Wilson, Ben Harris, Paul Daniels and Gene Anderson.
The starting of this ten years saw the introduction of the country’s third generation magicians into the regional 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 regional chapter of International Magicians Society was fashioned, launched by its President, Tan Bah Chee though the club’s presence in Singapore was limited-lived.
The late-nineteen nineties noticed a massive surge in magic world-wide recognition due to David Blaine’s road magic specials. Many individuals started to ‘get into’ magic and experienced 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 soon turned ‘the place to be’ where new magicians would dangle out and meet.
Throughout this decade, Wang Leng’s shop in Peninsula Plaza was offered to Patrick Wan. The store was subsequently bought to Richard Ang and is now nicely recognized as Ang Property of Magic. Patrick Wan opened his new store, Magic Wand, which has spawned into many stores in numerous components 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 several visits and performances by famous magicians. Aside from manifestation magic review by Michael & Hannah Ammar, Mark Leveridge and Wolfgang & Sonja Riebe there ended up also general public theatre performances by the Pendragons, Princess Tenko, Andre Kole, Franz Harary, David Copperfield, Rudy Coby and Robert Gallop. Other going to magicians provided Larry Becker, Tim Ellis, Terry Seabrooke, Phil Cass and Albert Tham.
2000 – Current
Magic has continued to prosper at the local amount in this 10 years. New chances and talents have emerged to elevate the artwork in Singapore. In May 2000, J C Sum staged the initial ever local total-night theatre show ‘Magic at the Theatre’ at Victoria Theatre. Just a month afterwards, much more than a dozen magicians from the US and Canada arrived 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 a number of shows at a variety of Centrepoint Malls for above a week.
In 2004, the Singapore Magic Circle (SMC) was developed by Aloysius Yeo and with its on-line discussion board drew a new pool of magic fans collectively. SMC has since grown to in excess of 1000 members and regularly organize gatherings, activities as effectively as the current Principle:Magic Micro MAGIC Conference in January 2007.
Via 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 production has been staged a lot of moments more than the a long time across the world to unfold the word of Christ. Subsequently, the very same crew organized two International Pageant of Magic conventions in 2003 & 2005. The initial of its kind huge magic activities included competitions, lectures, a dealers’ place and performances. Global performers this sort of as Jeff McBride, Max Maven, Johnny Thomspon, The Pendragons, Lee Eun Gyeol and Tommy Wonder ended up booked to execute at the gala exhibits and lectures.
In latest years, J C Sum has turn into arguably the most prominent Singapore magician of this era. His magic has been witnessed by millions via his reside performances across Asia as properly as his landmark mass media initiatives on MediaCorp Studio’s Ch eight as nicely as subsequent ‘Street Illusions’ compilation DVD/ VCD.
His 24-episode ‘Magic in Motion’ series can currently be observed everyday on Singapore Push Holdings MediaBoxOffice through 2007. In the international magic group, J C has also proven himself as an elite illusion designer from Asia with the publication of his three critically acclaimed illusion textbooks that have been sold in a lot more than 30 international locations to day.
An additional gifted award-profitable magician, Jeremy Pei, is raising the profile of Singapore magic within the regional magic community with his theatre demonstrates, arranged lectures, workshops and energetic participation in magic conventions & competitions in Japan, Korea, China, Thailand and Australia. His distinct North-Asian affect style of magic performance has garnered him a following with new budding magicians whom he teaches and guides. He has also introduced numerous original magic goods which are offered to magicians globally.
In yet another first, award-winning junior magician, Kyle Ravin secured a thirteen-episode weekly Street Magic series, “Maya” on MediaCorp Studios’ Vasantham Central. This 30min sequence noticed him execute magic for the Indian group and celebrities across the place.
This decade has witnessed the introduction of even far more magic outlets and dealers run by young magicians to satisfy the need of magic enthusiasts and magicians. These incorporate new ‘brick & mortar’ magic retailers this kind of as Road Magic by Tan Wei Ping, Challenging Organization by Jimmy Wong, The Magic Corridor by Kenneth Peh as properly as on-line shops like The Minor Magic Shop by Ning.