This report is to introduce magicians and magic fanatics to the wealthy background of magic in Singapore. It honours the noteworthy achievements, prominence and significance of neighborhood magicians from the past and present.
The commencing of Present day Magic in Singapore
It is the general consensus that contemporary magic in Singapore (put up Globe War 2) began with the late-Ng Bo
Oen AKA The Wonderful Wong. Details on nearby magic pre-war is extremely scarce. The only info found has been on The Excellent Wong performing at the New Planet Amusement Park (then positioned at Kitchener Road) in the 1930s.
The Great Wong was born in 1908 in Shanton, a town 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 throughout South East Asia. He was recognized for his sharp stage magic, Linking Rings routine and Sword Basket illusion. He was also an skilled craftsman who developed all of his props by hand. He experienced the gift of figuring out the mechanics and methodology of magic props and fabricating them from scratch.
In 1962, The Great Wong produced a substantial contribution to the international magic group by publishing his famous linking rings routine with English script prepared 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 perform at the fifteenth World Congree of Magic in Lausanne, Switzerland.
(For a lot more data on The Excellent Wong refer to ‘The Wonderful Wong Story’ in The Intercontinental Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring a hundred and fifteen The Quantum Ring Golden Jubilee Problem)
Yet another regional magician who was instrumental in developing modern day magic in Singapore in the course of the beginning was the late-Tan Hock Chuan. He was a trainer by job but carried out for once-a-year specific functions, charity demonstrates and personal get-togethers. He was (and nevertheless is) internationally identified for his magical inventions. His outcomes and concepts are still promoted vendor items nowadays and have been printed in numerous publications (of that time) this sort of as Gen, Spinx, Pentagram, New Pentagram, Swami Mantra, Abracadabra and even Tarbell’s Course in Magic. He is the first Asian magician to obtain the Spinx Award (1936-37)
The two The Excellent Wong and Tan Hock Chuan were important influences to several of the initial technology of Singapore modern-magicians who have paved the way for long term generations.
It was only following the war and during the British Armed forces Administration that magic in Singapore commenced its rise to the place it is right now. 1950 was the yr that the Singapore Magician’s Club was formed by a team of newbie magicians, comprising of English-educated specialists.
In 1951 the Singapore Magician’s Club obtained their charter from The Intercontinental Brotherhood of Magicians HQ in The united states and was from then on was officially identified as The Intercontinental Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring 115. 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 birth to Singapore’s 1st generation of contemporary magicians. Aside from the founding customers of the IBM Ring and The Great Wong (who joined the Ring in 1952 by invitation), some well known very first technology magicians incorporated Lim Hap Hin, Tan Choon Tee, Tan Bah Chee, Yeo Before long Kian and his pupil Michael Lim.
The Great Wong operated the initial magic store from his home cum showroom/ workshop in Singapore at 255-A Jalan Besar the place he marketed his very own handcrafted props as well as imported supplier products from Japan. (This house/ store was ruined in a fire in Dec 1988 leading to him to lose most of his guides and props)
In the course of this period, magicians like The Excellent Wong, Tan Bah Chee, Lim Hap Hin and Tan Choon Tee carried out magic classes at the Countrywide Theatre Club and the YMCA. They had been responsible for creating 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 various venues across the country. In addition to nearby magicians doing in night time clubs, foreign magicians these kinds of as Socar done a grand illusion demonstrate to a entire home at the Capitol Theatre (along Stamford Street) and The Wonderful Nicholas at the Sky Theater in The Fantastic Entire world Amusement Park at Kim Seng Highway (Now, Fantastic Planet City).
In the late 60s, Wee Peng Guan (Uncle of Charles Choo), opened the second magic shop in Singapore at a shop home along Robinson Street. Close to 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. (the place Carlton Hotel stands at present).
For the duration of this decade, Tan Choon Tee was making a name for himself in the worldwide magic neighborhood in the discipline of Mentalism. He received several intercontinental Linking Ring Awards for his A single-Gentleman Parades and has two textbooks revealed by Micky Hades. He was also a typical contributor to quite a few worldwide magic journals this kind of as Gen, New Pentagram, Magicgram, Magicana and The Linking Ring.
Abroad magicians whom handed via Singapore provided Milo & Roger, Milbourne Christopher and Maurice Fogel.
The nineteen seventies saw the birth of the second era of Singapore magicians. Some nicely-known magicians who obtained started 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 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 notable founding users such as Lim Hap Hin, Tan Hock Chuan and Charles Choo.
Magic shops in Singapore started 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 store in Peninsula Plaza. Charles Choo opened his shop in August 1978 on the 6th flooring of Far East Buying Centre. (It would transfer a number of moments to different malls but ultimately returned again to Considerably East). His store would soon become an institution in which magicians would acquire a variety of magic products as effectively as fulfill up and discover from every other.
It was a variety haunt for several magicians in the many years to arrive until the store shut in the new millennium.
Throughout this period, The Tropicana Night Club, which was positioned at Pacific Plaza, was a venue that had regular magic performances. Many popular magicians also visited Singapore in the 70s. In 1970, John Calvert carried out at the Countrywide Theatre. In 1972, Albert Goshman frequented Ring one hundred fifteen to give a lecture. In that identical year, “The Professor” Dai Vernon also visited Singapore, lectured and interacted with local magicians. Other going to magicians provided Andre Kole, Billy McComb, and Ali Bongo.
By the 1980s, the neighborhood magic scene was flourishing with wholesome memberships for the two major magic clubs as well as a surge in the variety of doing magicians. Several of today’s veterans produced their title 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 have been carrying out often at community and non-public shows throughout this ten years. Well-known local venues for public magic shows by magic golf equipment held on a normal basis at that time provided the Drama Centre and the National Museum Theatrette.
The popularity of magic outlets also grew and in 1982, Chew Kin Music opened a Magic & Novelty Corner at the Chinese Guide Part of Common Guide Co Pte Ltd on the 4th Floor of Bras Basah Intricate. 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. Besides this main store, he distributed magic items and sets via division shops
in Singapore and South East Asia.The Singapore audience was also uncovered to world-class magic by means of several magic tv displays and series that were aired on local Tv set including the David Copperfield specials, Magic Magic and The Very best of Magic.
International magicians who visited Singapore throughout this time included David Copperfield, Mark Wilson, Ben Harris, Paul Daniels and Gene Anderson.
The starting of this decade noticed the introduction of the country’s third technology magicians into the neighborhood magic scene. Prominent 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 regional chapter of Intercontinental Magicians Society was shaped, founded by its President, Tan Bah Chee even though the club’s existence in Singapore was limited-lived.
The late-nineteen nineties observed a huge surge in magic worldwide popularity owing to David Blaine’s avenue magic specials. Several men and women started out to ‘get into’ magic and experienced new mediums to understand the craft this sort of as the introduction of DVDs and the World wide web.
A new magic shop, Magic Castle & Promotions, opened up by Vijay Kumar at Shaw Towers soon grew to become ‘the spot to be’ in which new magicians would cling out and fulfill.
For the duration of this decade, Wang Leng’s shop in Peninsula Plaza was offered to Patrick Wan. The shop was subsequently bought to Richard Ang and is now nicely known as Ang Home of Magic. Patrick Wan opened his new store, Magic Wand, which has spawned into many outlets in different areas of Singapore. Mysticism & Psychic opened Magic Supreme at Coronation Plaza which has subsequently moved to Park Shopping mall.
The 90s was an exciting ten years with numerous visits and performances by well-known magicians. Aside from lectures by Michael & Hannah Ammar, Mark Leveridge and Wolfgang & Sonja Riebe there were also public theatre performances by the Pendragons, Princess Tenko, Andre Kole, Franz Harary, David Copperfield, Rudy Coby and Robert Gallop. Other visiting magicians included Larry Becker, Tim Ellis, Terry Seabrooke, Phil Cass and Albert Tham.
2000 – Current
Magic has continued to flourish at the local level in this 10 years. New chances and abilities have emerged to elevate the art in Singapore. In Might 2000, J C Sum staged the very first at any time nearby entire-evening theatre show ‘Magic at the Theatre’ at Victoria Theatre. Just a month later on, a lot more than a dozen magicians from the US and Canada arrived down to Singapore as part of the Magic Festival organized by the Malls of Centrepoint. Magicians this sort of as Robert Baxt, Rocco and Peter Gossamer performed multiple demonstrates at a variety of Centrepoint Malls for more than a week.
In 2004, the Singapore Magic Circle (SMC) was designed by Aloysius Yeo and with its on-line discussion board drew a new pool of magic fanatics together. SMC has since developed to over 1000 customers and frequently arrange gatherings, functions as properly as the modern Notion: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, spread the gospel message.
The multi-million greenback creation has been staged numerous instances more than the several years across the entire world to unfold the word of Christ. Subsequently, the identical team organized two Intercontinental Competition of Magic conventions in 2003 & 2005. The first of its sort big magic activities provided competitions, lectures, a dealers’ room and performances. Intercontinental performers this kind of as Jeff McBride, Max Maven, Johnny Thomspon, The Pendragons, Lee Eun Gyeol and Tommy Surprise were booked to carry out at the gala exhibits and lectures.
In latest many years, J C Sum has turn out to be arguably the most distinguished Singapore magician of this era. His magic has been observed by millions via his reside performances throughout Asia as nicely as his landmark mass media projects on MediaCorp Studio’s Ch 8 as well as subsequent ‘Street Illusions’ compilation DVD/ VCD.
His 24-episode ‘Magic in Motion’ sequence can at present be seen daily 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 three critically acclaimed illusion books that have been bought in a lot more than 30 international locations to date.
One more proficient award-winning magician, Jeremy Pei, is boosting the profile of Singapore magic in the regional magic community with his theatre shows, structured lectures, workshops and energetic participation in magic conventions & competitions in Japan, Korea, China, Thailand and Australia. His exclusive North-Asian influence style of magic functionality has garnered him a pursuing with new budding magicians whom he teaches and guides. He has also introduced a number of first magic items which are accessible to magicians worldwide.
In an additional very first, award-successful junior magician, Kyle Ravin secured a 13-episode weekly Street Magic collection, “Maya” on MediaCorp Studios’ Vasantham Central. This 30min collection saw him carry out magic for the Indian neighborhood and celebrities throughout the region.
This decade has noticed the introduction of even much more magic outlets and dealers run by younger magicians to fulfill the need of magic fanatics and magicians. These incorporate new ‘brick & mortar’ magic retailers such as Avenue Magic by Tan Wei Ping, Tricky Business by Jimmy Wong, The Magic Hall by Kenneth Peh as properly as on-line outlets like The Tiny Magic Shop by Ning.