This report is to introduce magicians and magic enthusiasts to the wealthy heritage of magic in Singapore. It honours the noteworthy achievements, prominence and significance of neighborhood magicians from the past and existing.
The starting of Present day Magic in Singapore
It is the standard consensus that modern day magic in Singapore (post Globe War 2) commenced with the late-Ng Bo
Oen AKA The Excellent Wong. Info on regional magic pre-war is extremely scarce. The only details located has been on The Wonderful Wong performing at the New World Amusement Park (then situated at Kitchener Road) in the 1930s.
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 professional magician of his time in Singapore and executed across South East Asia. He was identified for his sharp stage magic, Linking Rings routine and Sword Basket illusion. He was also an professional craftsman who constructed 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 Fantastic Wong created a important contribution to the global magic group by publishing his famous linking rings schedule with English script created 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 15th Globe Congree of Magic in Lausanne, Switzerland.
(For more info on The Wonderful Wong refer to ‘The Excellent Wong Story’ in The Worldwide Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring a hundred and fifteen The Quantum Ring Golden Jubilee Issue)
One more nearby magician who was instrumental in developing present day magic in Singapore for the duration of the commencing was the late-Tan Hock Chuan. He was a teacher by job but executed for yearly special activities, charity displays and personal functions. He was (and nevertheless is) internationally acknowledged for his magical innovations. His effects and concepts are even now marketed vendor items these days and have been published in many publications (of that time) this kind of as Gen, Spinx, Pentagram, New Pentagram, Swami Mantra, Abracadabra and even Tarbell’s System in Magic. He is the very first Asian magician to acquire the Spinx Award (1936-37)
Each The Fantastic Wong and Tan Hock Chuan had been important influences to numerous of the first technology of Singapore modern day-magicians who have paved the way for long term generations.
It was only following the war and in the course of the British Army Administration that magic in Singapore started its rise to exactly where it is right now. 1950 was the 12 months that the Singapore Magician’s Club was fashioned by a group of newbie magicians, comprising of English-educated experts.
In 1951 the Singapore Magician’s Club acquired their constitution from The Global Brotherhood of Magicians HQ in The usa and was from then on was officially recognized as The International Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring 115. Founding associates of the club at that time integrated 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 birth to Singapore’s initial technology of modern magicians. Apart from the founding members of the IBM Ring and The Fantastic Wong (who joined the Ring in 1952 by invitation), some well known first technology magicians provided Lim Hap Hin, Tan Choon Tee, Tan Bah Chee, Yeo Shortly Kian and his student Michael Lim.
The Wonderful Wong operated the 1st magic store from his residence cum showroom/ workshop in Singapore at 255-A Jalan Besar in which he offered his very own handcrafted props as nicely as imported dealer objects from Japan. (This house/ shop was ruined in a hearth in Dec 1988 leading to him to lose most of his publications and props)
Throughout this interval, magicians like The Fantastic Wong, Tan Bah Chee, Lim Hap Hin and Tan Choon Tee carried out magic classes at the Nationwide Theatre Club and the YMCA. They were liable for generating energetic magicians this kind of as Charles Choo, Wong Fok Choy, Chia Hearn Jiang, Gwee Thiam Hock and the late-Vijeyacone.
The early 60s also noticed the ‘Golden Age’ of magic with magicians doing at different venues across the country. Besides neighborhood magicians doing in night clubs, overseas magicians these kinds of as Socar executed a grand illusion display to a entire house at the Capitol Theatre (along Stamford Highway) and The Wonderful Nicholas at the Sky Theater in The Great Globe Amusement Park at Kim Seng Highway (Now, Excellent Entire world Metropolis).
In the late 60s, Wee Peng Guan (Uncle of Charles Choo), opened the next magic shop in Singapore at a store house along Robinson Highway. All around that time, well-known 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 Resort stands at present).
In the course of this ten years, Tan Choon Tee was creating a title for himself in the global magic local community in the field of Mentalism. He gained numerous global Linking Ring Awards for his 1-Man Parades and has two guides released by Micky Hades. He was also a normal contributor to several worldwide magic publications this sort of as Gen, New Pentagram, Magicgram, Magicana and The Linking Ring.
Overseas magicians whom handed by way of Singapore provided Milo & Roger, Milbourne Christopher and Maurice Fogel.
The seventies observed the beginning of the 2nd era of Singapore magicians. manifestation magic alexander wilson -acknowledged magicians who received started during this time included The Great 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 pleasant ‘rivalry’ to the IBM Ring. The club was led by Tan Bah Chee with prominent founding members this kind of as Lim Hap Hin, Tan Hock Chuan and Charles Choo.
Magic retailers in Singapore started to spring up in the course of 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 shop in August 1978 on the 6th flooring of Far East Buying Centre. (It would move many occasions to various malls but ultimately returned back to Far East). His shop would shortly turn out to be an institution the place magicians would acquire numerous magic products as well as meet up and find out from every single other.
It was a selection haunt for numerous magicians in the many years to appear till the store closed in the new millennium.
Throughout this time period, The Tropicana Night time Club, which was positioned at Pacific Plaza, was a venue that had typical magic performances. Several renowned magicians also frequented Singapore in the 70s. In 1970, John Calvert done at the National Theatre. In 1972, Albert Goshman visited Ring 115 to give a lecture. In that same year, “The Professor” Dai Vernon also frequented Singapore, lectured and interacted with neighborhood magicians. Other going to magicians provided Andre Kole, Billy McComb, and Ali Bongo.
By the nineteen eighties, the neighborhood magic scene was flourishing with healthful memberships for the two major magic golf equipment as effectively as a surge in the amount of performing magicians. A lot of of modern veterans made 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 have been carrying out frequently at general public and private shows throughout this ten years. Well-liked local venues for community magic exhibits by magic golf equipment held on a regular basis at that time provided the Drama Centre and the Countrywide Museum Theatrette.
The popularity of magic outlets also grew and in 1982, Chew Kin Track opened a Magic & Novelty Corner at the Chinese Guide Section of Popular Ebook Co Pte Ltd on the 4th Flooring of Bras Basah Sophisticated. Gician Tan also opened up his very first magic shop at Parkway Parade which subsequently moved to Marina Sq. and was managed by Richard Ang. In addition to this primary store, he dispersed magic products and sets by way of department retailers
in Singapore and South East Asia.The Singapore viewers was also exposed to planet-course magic through several magic television shows and collection that had been aired on regional Television set like the David Copperfield specials, Magic Magic and The Greatest of Magic.
International magicians who visited Singapore during this time incorporated 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 era magicians into the regional magic scene. Distinguished 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 nearby chapter of Global Magicians Modern society was formed, started by its President, Tan Bah Chee though the club’s existence in Singapore was limited-lived.
The late-nineties observed a large surge in magic global acceptance because of to David Blaine’s street magic specials. Many folks started out to ‘get into’ magic and had new mediums to discover 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 soon turned ‘the place to be’ in which new magicians would cling out and meet up with.
For the duration of this 10 years, Wang Leng’s shop in Peninsula Plaza was offered to Patrick Wan. The store was subsequently bought to Richard Ang and is now nicely identified as Ang House of Magic. Patrick Wan opened his new shop, Magic Wand, which has spawned into many shops in various parts of Singapore. Steven Sim also opened Magic Supreme at Coronation Plaza which has subsequently moved to Park Shopping mall.
The 90s was an thrilling decade with many visits and performances by popular magicians. Aside from lectures by Michael & Hannah Ammar, Mark Leveridge and Wolfgang & Sonja Riebe there ended up 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 – Existing
Magic has ongoing to flourish at the local amount in this decade. New chances and abilities have emerged to elevate the artwork in Singapore. In Could 2000, J C Sum staged the first at any time neighborhood entire-night theatre show ‘Magic at the Theatre’ at Victoria Theatre. Just a thirty day period later, more than a dozen magicians from the US and Canada arrived down to Singapore as portion of the Magic Competition structured by the Malls of Centrepoint. Magicians these kinds of as Robert Baxt, Rocco and Peter Gossamer carried out a number of exhibits 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 forum drew a new pool of magic enthusiasts with each other. SMC has because grown to over one thousand customers and routinely manage gatherings, functions as nicely as the latest Idea:Magic Micro MAGIC Convention in January 2007.
By way of a big-scale theatre magic musical ‘Magic of Love’, Lawrence Khong, a pastor with Faith Group Baptist Church and his daughter Pricilla, distribute the gospel information.
The multi-million greenback generation has been staged a lot of instances over the many years across the planet to unfold the word of Christ. Subsequently, the identical staff organized two Worldwide Pageant of Magic conventions in 2003 & 2005. The first of its type massive magic events included competitions, lectures, a dealers’ space and performances. Worldwide performers such as Jeff McBride, Max Maven, Johnny Thomspon, The Pendragons, Lee Eun Gyeol and Tommy Wonder were booked to perform at the gala demonstrates and lectures.
In latest years, J C Sum has turn into arguably the most well known Singapore magician of this era. His magic has been seen by tens of millions by means of his stay 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’ collection can presently be observed everyday on Singapore Press Holdings MediaBoxOffice via 2007. In the international magic neighborhood, J C has also established himself as an elite illusion designer from Asia with the publication of his three critically acclaimed illusion guides that have been marketed in much more than 30 nations around the world to day.
Another talented award-winning magician, Jeremy Pei, is increasing the profile of Singapore magic within the regional magic local community with his theatre demonstrates, structured lectures, workshops and lively participation in magic conventions & competitions in Japan, Korea, China, Thailand and Australia. His distinctive North-Asian impact type of magic overall performance has garnered him a pursuing with new budding magicians whom he teaches and guides. He has also released several original magic products which are offered to magicians worldwide.
In an additional first, award-successful junior magician, Kyle Ravin secured a thirteen-episode weekly Avenue Magic collection, “Maya” on MediaCorp Studios’ Vasantham Central. This 30min collection observed him carry out magic for the Indian local community and famous people across the nation.
This decade has observed the introduction of even a lot more magic retailers and sellers run by youthful magicians to meet the desire of magic enthusiasts and magicians. These include new ‘brick & mortar’ magic stores this sort of as Street Magic by Tan Wei Ping, Tricky Organization by Jimmy Wong, The Magic Corridor by Kenneth Peh as well as on-line retailers like The Tiny Magic Store by Ning.