This report is to introduce magicians and magic enthusiasts to the abundant heritage of magic in Singapore. It honours the noteworthy achievements, prominence and significance of local magicians from the earlier and existing.
The beginning of Modern day Magic in Singapore
It is the normal consensus that modern day magic in Singapore (write-up Globe War 2) began with the late-Ng Bo
Oen AKA The Fantastic Wong. Details on area magic pre-war is really scarce. The only information uncovered has been on The Great Wong executing at the New Environment Amusement Park (then located at Kitchener Street) in the 1930s.
The Good 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 carried out across South East Asia. He was regarded for his sharp phase magic, Linking Rings regimen and Sword Basket illusion. He was also an skilled craftsman who crafted all of his props by hand. He had the present of figuring out the mechanics and methodology of magic props and fabricating them from scratch.
In 1962, The Fantastic Wong manufactured a significant contribution to the intercontinental magic group by publishing his famous linking rings plan 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 complete at the 15th Entire world Congree of Magic in Lausanne, Switzerland.
(For much more info on The Wonderful Wong refer to ‘The Terrific Wong Story’ in The Worldwide Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring 115 The Quantum Ring Golden Jubilee Problem)
An additional nearby magician who was instrumental in escalating contemporary magic in Singapore all through the beginning was the late-Tan Hock Chuan. He was a teacher by career but carried out for annual particular situations, charity reveals and non-public functions. He was (and nevertheless is) internationally recognised for his magical innovations. His results and strategies are continue to promoted vendor objects nowadays and have been printed in plenty of publications (of that time) these types of as Gen, Spinx, Pentagram, New Pentagram, Swami Mantra, Abracadabra and even Tarbell’s System in Magic. He is the to start with Asian magician to acquire the Spinx Award (1936-37)
The two The Good Wong and Tan Hock Chuan ended up crucial influences to many of the 1st era of Singapore present day-magicians who have paved the way for long term generations.
It was only following the war and during the British Navy Administration that magic in Singapore began its increase to where by it is currently. 1950 was the 12 months that the Singapore Magician’s Club was fashioned by a team of novice magicians, comprising of English-educated experts.
In 1951 the Singapore Magician’s Club obtained their charter from The Intercontinental Brotherhood of Magicians HQ in America and was from then on was officially recognized as The Intercontinental Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring 115. Founding customers of the club at that time involved 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 very first era 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 well known very first era magicians provided Lim Hap Hin, Tan Choon Tee, Tan Bah Chee, Yeo Shortly Kian and his college student Michael Lim.
The Fantastic Wong operated the initial magic store from his home cum showroom/ workshop in Singapore at 255-A Jalan Besar where he sold his very own handcrafted props as properly as imported seller products from Japan. (This dwelling/ store was ruined in a fireplace in Dec 1988 triggering him to get rid of most of his textbooks and props)
During this period of time, magicians like The Fantastic Wong, Tan Bah Chee, Lim Hap Hin and Tan Choon Tee executed magic courses at the Countrywide Theatre Club and the YMCA. They were accountable for creating 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 noticed the ‘Golden Age’ of magic with magicians executing at different venues across the place. Moreover neighborhood magicians executing in night time clubs, foreign magicians these as Socar carried out a grand illusion demonstrate to a whole household at the Capitol Theatre (together Stamford Highway) and The Great Nicholas at the Sky Theater in The Excellent Entire world Amusement Park at Kim Seng Road (Now, Wonderful Entire world City).
In the late 60s, Wee Peng Guan (Uncle of Charles Choo), opened the 2nd magic store in Singapore at a shop household along Robinson Street. About that time, well-known entertainer Victor Khoo’s father Khoo Teng Heng who was a magician, a ventriloquist and hypnotist opened his magic shop at Bras Basah. (where Carlton Lodge stands currently).
Throughout this ten years, Tan Choon Tee was generating a identify for himself in the international magic neighborhood in the subject of Mentalism. He gained various intercontinental Linking Ring Awards for his Just one-Gentleman Parades and has two books published by Micky Hades. He was also a common contributor to various intercontinental magic magazines this kind of as Gen, New Pentagram, Magicgram, Magicana and The Linking Ring.
Overseas magicians whom handed by way of Singapore incorporated Milo & Roger, Milbourne Christopher and Maurice Fogel.
The 1970s noticed the start of the 2nd technology of Singapore magicians. Some very well-recognised magicians who bought started during this time included The Good 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 launched on 10 March 1973 in welcoming ‘rivalry’ to the IBM Ring. The club was led by Tan Bah Chee with outstanding founding associates this sort of as Lim Hap Hin, Tan Hock Chuan and Charles Choo.
Magic retailers 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 store in Peninsula Plaza. Charles Choo opened his store in August 1978 on the 6th ground of Considerably East Procuring Centre. (It would move various moments to different malls but finally returned back to Significantly East). His store would quickly come to be an establishment where magicians would buy a variety of magic products and solutions as very well as meet up and discover from each individual other.
It was a range haunt for a lot of magicians in the many years to come till the store closed in the new millennium.
Through this interval, The Tropicana Night Club, which was situated at Pacific Plaza, was a venue that had standard magic performances. Various famed magicians also visited Singapore in the 70s. In 1970, John Calvert done at the Nationwide Theatre. In 1972, Albert Goshman visited Ring 115 to give a lecture. In that very same year, “The Professor” Dai Vernon also frequented Singapore, lectured and interacted with community magicians. Other visiting magicians incorporated Andre Kole, Billy McComb, and Ali Bongo.
By the 1980s, the community magic scene was flourishing with healthier memberships for the two major magic golf equipment as perfectly as a surge in the selection of carrying out magicians. Many of today’s veterans built their identify 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 public and private demonstrates all through this decade. Preferred regional venues for general public magic shows by magic clubs held on a common foundation at that time involved the Drama Centre and the Nationwide Museum Theatrette.
The popularity of magic outlets also grew and in 1982, Chew Kin Song opened a Magic & Novelty Corner at the Chinese Book Part of Well-liked Ebook Co Pte Ltd on the 4th Floor of Bras Basah Advanced. Gician Tan also opened up his initial magic store at Parkway Parade which subsequently moved to Marina Square and was managed by Richard Ang. Other than this main store, he distributed magic things and sets as a result of division retailers
in Singapore and South East Asia.The Singapore viewers was also uncovered to environment-class magic by means of quite a few magic television displays and collection that were being aired on neighborhood Tv set which include the David Copperfield specials, Magic Magic and The Ideal of Magic.
International magicians who frequented Singapore through this time included David Copperfield, Mark Wilson, Ben Harris, Paul Daniels and Gene Anderson.
The beginning of this decade saw the introduction of the country’s third technology magicians into the area 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 neighborhood chapter of International Magicians Culture was fashioned, established by its President, Tan Bah Chee though the club’s existence in Singapore was brief-lived.
The late-1990s noticed a enormous surge in magic global reputation due to David Blaine’s street magic specials. Many persons started off to ‘get into’ magic and experienced new mediums to discover the craft these kinds of as the introduction of DVDs and the Web.
A new magic store, Magic Castle & Promotions, opened up by Vijay Kumar at Shaw Towers before long grew to become ‘the spot to be’ the place new magicians would hold out and meet up with.
Throughout this 10 years, Wang Leng’s store in Peninsula Plaza was bought to Patrick Wan. The shop was subsequently offered to Richard Ang and is now perfectly known as Ang Residence of Magic. Patrick Wan opened his new store, Magic Wand, which has spawned into various retailers in numerous areas of Singapore. Steven Sim also opened Magic Supreme at Coronation Plaza which has subsequently moved to Park Shopping mall.
The 90s was an remarkable decade with several visits and performances by famed magicians. Aside from lectures by Michael & Hannah Ammar, Mark Leveridge and Wolfgang & Sonja Riebe there ended up also public theatre performances by the Pendragons, Princess Tenko, Andre Kole, Franz Harary, David Copperfield, Rudy Coby and Robert Gallop. Other browsing magicians involved Larry Becker, Tim Ellis, Terry Seabrooke, Phil Cass and Albert Tham.
2000 – Current
Magic has ongoing to flourish at the local degree in this ten years. New possibilities and talents have emerged to elevate the art in Singapore. In May 2000, J C Sum staged the first ever community whole-evening theatre show ‘Magic at the Theatre’ at Victoria Theatre. Just a month later, more than a dozen magicians from the US and Canada arrived down to Singapore as portion of the Magic Competition arranged by the Malls of Centrepoint. Magicians this sort of as Robert Baxt, Rocco and Peter Gossamer carried out a number of displays at numerous Centrepoint Malls for around a 7 days.
In 2004, the Singapore Magic Circle (SMC) was established by Aloysius Yeo and with its on-line discussion board drew a new pool of magic fans jointly. SMC has considering the fact that grown to about 1000 customers and often manage gatherings, events as perfectly as the modern Strategy:Magic Micro MAGIC Convention in January 2007.
By a significant-scale theatre magic musical ‘Magic of Love’, Lawrence Khong, a pastor with Religion Community Baptist Church and his daughter Pricilla, unfold the gospel message.
The multi-million dollar production has been staged lots of times around the a long time throughout the environment to spread the phrase of Christ. Subsequently, the similar crew arranged two Worldwide Festival of Magic conventions in 2003 & 2005. The first of its variety significant magic gatherings bundled competitions, lectures, a dealers’ area and performances. Global performers these kinds of as Jeff McBride, Max Maven, Johnny Thomspon, The Pendragons, Lee Eun Gyeol and Tommy Speculate were being booked to accomplish at the gala exhibits and lectures.
In the latest years, J C Sum has develop into arguably the most outstanding Singapore magician of this technology. His magic has been viewed by millions via his live performances throughout Asia as very well 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’ sequence can at the moment be viewed daily on Singapore Push Holdings MediaBoxOffice by 2007. In the global magic group, J C has also proven himself as an elite illusion designer from Asia with the publication of his 3 critically acclaimed illusion guides that have been bought in additional than 30 countries to date.
Another proficient award-profitable magician, Jeremy Pei, is increasing the profile of Singapore magic within the regional magic neighborhood with his theatre shows, structured lectures, workshops and energetic participation in magic conventions & competitions in Japan, Korea, China, Thailand and Australia. His distinct North-Asian affect fashion of magic performance has garnered him a adhering to with new budding magicians whom he teaches and guides. He has also unveiled several primary magic solutions which are out there to magicians all over the world.
In another very first, award-profitable junior magician, Kyle Ravin secured a 13-episode weekly Street Magic collection, “Maya” on MediaCorp Studios’ Vasantham Central. This 30min sequence saw him complete magic for the Indian local community and celebs throughout the country.
This 10 years has viewed the introduction of even much more magic retailers and sellers operate by younger magicians to meet up with the demand of magic fans and magicians. These involve new ‘brick & mortar’ magic outlets this kind of as Avenue Magic by Tan Wei Ping, Tricky Business by Jimmy Wong, The Magic Corridor by Kenneth Peh as very well as on-line outlets like The Tiny Magic Store by Ning.
Viewing magicians thus significantly for the new millennium have included Joshua Jay, Shoot Ogawa, Charles Gucci, Nicholas Einhorn.
And the Magic Record of Singapore proceeds to be written…