This article is to introduce magicians and magic lovers to the rich historical past of magic in Singapore. It honours the notable achievements, prominence and importance of regional magicians from the earlier and current.
The beginning of Modern day Magic in Singapore
It is the general consensus that present day magic in Singapore (post World War two) started with the late-Ng Bo
Oen AKA The Great Wong. Information on local magic pre-war is quite scarce. The only details found has been on The Fantastic Wong carrying out at the New Planet Amusement Park (then positioned at Kitchener Street) in the 1930s.
The Excellent 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 known for his sharp phase magic, Linking Rings routine and Sword Basket illusion. He was also an skilled craftsman who created 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 global magic group by publishing his popular linking rings regimen with English script composed 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 complete at the fifteenth Planet Congree of Magic in Lausanne, Switzerland.
(For far more details on The Wonderful Wong refer to ‘The Excellent Wong Story’ in The Intercontinental Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring one hundred fifteen The Quantum Ring Golden Jubilee Concern)
Yet another neighborhood magician who was instrumental in increasing modern day magic in Singapore during the starting was the late-Tan Hock Chuan. He was a trainer by profession but done for yearly specific occasions, charity exhibits and personal functions. He was (and still is) internationally acknowledged for his magical inventions. His outcomes and concepts are still promoted supplier items right now and have been published in numerous publications (of that time) such as Gen, Spinx, Pentagram, New Pentagram, Swami Mantra, Abracadabra and even Tarbell’s Course in Magic. He is the initial Asian magician to receive the Spinx Award (1936-37)
Each The Excellent Wong and Tan Hock Chuan were critical influences to several of the initial generation of Singapore present day-magicians who have paved the way for long term generations.
It was only right after the war and for the duration of the British Military Administration that magic in Singapore began its increase to the place it is nowadays. 1950 was the year that the Singapore Magician’s Club was shaped by a group of beginner magicians, comprising of English-educated professionals.
https://www.piratemagic.net/ In 1951 the Singapore Magician’s Club gained their constitution from The Global Brotherhood of Magicians HQ in The usa and was from then on was officially identified as The International Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring a hundred and fifteen. Founding customers of the club at that time incorporated Tan Ewe Chee (President), Yeo Quickly 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 initial technology of modern day magicians. In addition to the founding associates of the IBM Ring and The Excellent Wong (who joined the Ring in 1952 by invitation), some distinguished first generation magicians included Lim Hap Hin, Tan Choon Tee, Tan Bah Chee, Yeo Before long Kian and his pupil Michael Lim.
The Wonderful Wong operated the 1st magic shop from his house cum showroom/ workshop in Singapore at 255-A Jalan Besar exactly where he sold his own handcrafted props as properly as imported vendor items from Japan. (This home/ shop was destroyed in a fire in Dec 1988 leading to him to lose 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 performed magic courses at the Countrywide Theatre Club and the YMCA. They had been accountable for generating energetic 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 carrying out at distinct venues across the place. Apart from local magicians carrying out in night golf equipment, international magicians this kind of as Socar done a grand illusion demonstrate to a entire property at the Capitol Theatre (together Stamford Street) and The Wonderful Nicholas at the Sky Theater in The Fantastic Entire world Amusement Park at Kim Seng Street (Now, Excellent Entire world City).
In the late 60s, Wee Peng Guan (Uncle of Charles Choo), opened the next magic store in Singapore at a store property together Robinson Highway. All around 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. (exactly where Carlton Hotel stands at present).
Throughout this decade, Tan Choon Tee was generating a identify for himself in the international magic group in the field of Mentalism. He won several worldwide Linking Ring Awards for his 1-Guy Parades and has two guides released by Micky Hades. He was also a typical contributor to quite a few global magic magazines this sort of as Gen, New Pentagram, Magicgram, Magicana and The Linking Ring.
Overseas magicians whom passed by way of Singapore integrated Milo & Roger, Milbourne Christopher and Maurice Fogel.
The 1970s observed the birth of the next generation of Singapore magicians. Some well-recognized magicians who acquired commenced throughout this time provided The Wonderful 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 helpful ‘rivalry’ to the IBM Ring. The club was led by Tan Bah Chee with well known founding associates such as Lim Hap Hin, Tan Hock Chuan and Charles Choo.
Magic retailers in Singapore began 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 store in Peninsula Plaza. Charles Choo opened his store in August 1978 on the 6th flooring of Far East Searching Centre. (It would go many moments to a variety of malls but ultimately returned back to Far East). His shop would quickly turn out to be an establishment in which magicians would get various magic merchandise as well as satisfy up and understand from every single other.
It was a range haunt for several magicians in the many years to arrive till the store closed in the new millennium.
In the course of this time period, The Tropicana Evening Club, which was located at Pacific Plaza, was a location that experienced regular magic performances. A number of famous magicians also visited Singapore in the 70s. In 1970, John Calvert carried out at the Countrywide Theatre. In 1972, Albert Goshman visited Ring a hundred and fifteen to give a lecture. In that exact same yr, “The Professor” Dai Vernon also visited Singapore, lectured and interacted with nearby magicians. Other checking out magicians provided Andre Kole, Billy McComb, and Ali Bongo.
By the nineteen eighties, the regional magic scene was flourishing with healthier memberships for the two major magic golf equipment as well as a surge in the amount of carrying out magicians. Numerous of modern veterans made 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 ended up carrying out routinely at public and non-public shows in the course of this ten years. Common local venues for community magic displays by magic clubs held on a regular basis at that time provided the Drama Centre and the Countrywide Museum Theatrette.
The acceptance of magic retailers also grew and in 1982, Chew Kin Music opened a Magic & Novelty Corner at the Chinese Guide Area of Common Ebook Co Pte Ltd on the 4th Floor of Bras Basah Complex. Gician Tan also opened up his 1st magic store at Parkway Parade which subsequently moved to Marina Square and was managed by Richard Ang. Aside from this principal store, he distributed magic products and sets through office stores
in Singapore and South East Asia.The Singapore viewers was also uncovered to globe-course magic through many magic tv displays and collection that were aired on regional Tv like the David Copperfield specials, Magic Magic and The Best of Magic.
Overseas magicians who visited Singapore for the duration of this time incorporated David Copperfield, Mark Wilson, Ben Harris, Paul Daniels and Gene Anderson.
The beginning of this ten years observed the introduction of the country’s third era magicians into the neighborhood magic scene. Distinguished budding magicians provided 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 Global Magicians Society was fashioned, established by its President, Tan Bah Chee although the club’s presence in Singapore was short-lived.
The late-nineteen nineties observed a large surge in magic world-wide popularity due to David Blaine’s road magic specials. Many men and women commenced to ‘get into’ magic and had new mediums to find out the craft these kinds of as the introduction of DVDs and the Net.
A new magic store, Magic Castle & Promotions, opened up by Vijay Kumar at Shaw Towers quickly became ‘the place to be’ in which new magicians would hang out and meet up with.
Throughout this 10 years, Wang Leng’s shop in Peninsula Plaza was bought 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 numerous outlets in different parts of Singapore. Steven Sim also opened Magic Supreme at Coronation Plaza which has subsequently moved to Park Mall.
The 90s was an fascinating ten years with many visits and performances by renowned magicians. Aside from lectures by Michael & Hannah Ammar, Mark Leveridge and Wolfgang & Sonja Riebe there had been also community theatre performances by the Pendragons, Princess Tenko, Andre Kole, Franz Harary, David Copperfield, Rudy Coby and Robert Gallop. Other going to magicians integrated Larry Becker, Tim Ellis, Terry Seabrooke, Phil Cass and Albert Tham.
2000 – Existing
Magic has ongoing to flourish at the neighborhood degree in this ten years. New options and abilities have emerged to elevate the artwork in Singapore. In May 2000, J C Sum staged the very first at any time nearby complete-evening theatre display ‘Magic at the Theatre’ at Victoria Theatre. Just a month later, more than a dozen magicians from the US and Canada came down to Singapore as portion of the Magic Pageant organized by the Malls of Centrepoint. Magicians such as Robert Baxt, Rocco and Peter Gossamer carried out numerous shows at numerous 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 enthusiasts together. SMC has given that developed to in excess of 1000 members and routinely arrange gatherings, events as well as the latest 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 Group Baptist Church and his daughter Pricilla, unfold the gospel information.
The multi-million dollar production has been staged numerous moments more than the a long time throughout the planet to distribute the phrase of Christ. Subsequently, the identical team organized two International Competition of Magic conventions in 2003 & 2005. The initial of its sort huge magic occasions included competitions, lectures, a dealers’ area and performances. Worldwide performers this kind of as Jeff McBride, Max Maven, Johnny Thomspon, The Pendragons, Lee Eun Gyeol and Tommy Ponder were booked to perform at the gala shows and lectures.
In modern years, J C Sum has become arguably the most distinguished Singapore magician of this era. His magic has been seen by hundreds of thousands by way of his dwell performances across Asia as effectively as his landmark mass media assignments on MediaCorp Studio’s Ch 8 as nicely as subsequent ‘Street Illusions’ compilation DVD/ VCD.
His 24-episode ‘Magic in Motion’ sequence can at present be witnessed every day on Singapore Push Holdings MediaBoxOffice through 2007. In the international magic community, J C has also recognized himself as an elite illusion designer from Asia with the publication of his three critically acclaimed illusion textbooks that have been offered in a lot more than 30 international locations to day.
Another talented award-profitable magician, Jeremy Pei, is raising the profile of Singapore magic within the regional magic group with his theatre demonstrates, organized lectures, workshops and active participation in magic conventions & competitions in Japan, Korea, China, Thailand and Australia. His distinct North-Asian impact style of magic functionality has garnered him a pursuing with new budding magicians whom he teaches and guides. He has also launched multiple original magic items which are offered to magicians around the world.
In one more initial, award-winning junior magician, Kyle Ravin secured a 13-episode weekly Street Magic collection, “Maya” on MediaCorp Studios’ Vasantham Central. This 30min series noticed him carry out magic for the Indian local community and famous people across the country.
This decade has witnessed the introduction of even much more magic outlets and sellers run by younger magicians to meet the demand from customers of magic lovers and magicians. These incorporate new ‘brick & mortar’ magic retailers these kinds of as Avenue Magic by Tan Wei Ping, Challenging Company by Jimmy Wong, The Magic Corridor by Kenneth Peh as nicely as on-line stores like The Small Magic Shop by Ning.