This report is to introduce magicians and magic enthusiasts to the abundant history of magic in Singapore. It honours the notable achievements, prominence and importance of local magicians from the earlier and existing.
The commencing of Modern day Magic in Singapore
It is the general consensus that modern day magic in Singapore (put up Planet War two) started with the late-Ng Bo
Oen AKA The Fantastic Wong. Info on local magic pre-war is really scarce. The only information discovered has been on The Excellent Wong carrying out at the New World Amusement Park (then found at Kitchener Highway) in the thirties.
The Wonderful Wong was born in 1908 in Shanton, a town of the Guangdong Province, China and immigrated to Singapore in 1933. He was the only professional magician of his time in Singapore and done across South East Asia. He was recognized for his sharp stage magic, Linking Rings program and Sword Basket illusion. He was also an specialist craftsman who created 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 Wonderful Wong made a considerable contribution to the intercontinental magic community by publishing his renowned linking rings program 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 information on The Excellent Wong refer to ‘The Great Wong Story’ in The Global Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring a hundred and fifteen The Quantum Ring Golden Jubilee Issue)
An additional regional magician who was instrumental in developing modern day magic in Singapore in the course of the commencing was the late-Tan Hock Chuan. He was a instructor by career but carried out for annual particular occasions, charity exhibits and private functions. He was (and still is) internationally identified for his magical inventions. His outcomes and ideas are even now promoted supplier things right now and have been printed in a great number of publications (of that time) this kind of as Gen, Spinx, Pentagram, New Pentagram, Swami Mantra, Abracadabra and even Tarbell’s Program in Magic. He is the first Asian magician to get the Spinx Award (1936-37)
Both The Excellent Wong and Tan Hock Chuan were essential influences to many of the initial technology of Singapore modern-magicians who have paved the way for potential generations.
It was only right after the war and throughout the British Army Administration that magic in Singapore began its rise to in which it is today. 1950 was the yr that the Singapore Magician’s Club was formed by a team of newbie magicians, comprising of English-educated experts.
In 1951 the Singapore Magician’s Club gained their charter from The Intercontinental Brotherhood of Magicians HQ in The usa and was from then on was formally acknowledged as The Worldwide Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring one hundred fifteen. Founding associates of the club at that time provided 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 delivery to Singapore’s first era of present day magicians. Apart from the founding customers of the IBM Ring and The Fantastic Wong (who joined the Ring in 1952 by invitation), some notable 1st technology magicians integrated Lim Hap Hin, Tan Choon Tee, Tan Bah Chee, Yeo Shortly Kian and his college student Michael Lim.
The Great Wong operated the initial magic store from his house cum showroom/ workshop in Singapore at 255-A Jalan Besar where he bought his personal handcrafted props as effectively as imported vendor objects from Japan. (This home/ shop was ruined in a fire in Dec 1988 causing him to shed most of his books and props)
In the course of this period, magicians like The Excellent Wong, Tan Bah Chee, Lim Hap Hin and Tan Choon Tee conducted magic programs at the Countrywide Theatre Club and the YMCA. They were liable for producing lively magicians this sort 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 throughout the country. Aside from nearby magicians executing in evening clubs, overseas magicians these kinds of as Socar performed a grand illusion demonstrate to a entire home at the Capitol Theatre (alongside Stamford Road) and The Great Nicholas at the Sky Theater in The Fantastic Planet Amusement Park at Kim Seng Road (Now, Wonderful World Town).
In the late 60s, Wee Peng Guan (Uncle of Charles Choo), opened the 2nd magic shop in Singapore at a store residence along Robinson Highway. Close to that time, well-liked entertainer Victor Khoo’s father Khoo Teng Heng who was a magician, a ventriloquist and hypnotist opened his magic store at Bras Basah. (where Carlton Lodge stands at the moment).
For the duration of this decade, Tan Choon Tee was producing a name for himself in the worldwide magic group in the area of Mentalism. He won a number of intercontinental Linking Ring Awards for his 1-Guy Parades and has two publications published by Micky Hades. He was also a regular contributor to numerous global magic journals these kinds of as Gen, New Pentagram, Magicgram, Magicana and The Linking Ring.
Overseas magicians whom passed by way of Singapore included Milo & Roger, Milbourne Christopher and Maurice Fogel.
The 1970s noticed the birth of the next era of Singapore magicians. Some well-known magicians who received began for the duration of this time provided 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 Affiliation of Magicians was founded 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 outlets in Singapore commenced to spring up for the duration 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 ground of Considerably East Purchasing Centre. (It would shift numerous occasions to different malls but sooner or later returned back again to Considerably East). His store would quickly grow to be an institution the place magicians would buy a variety of magic merchandise as well as fulfill up and understand from every other.
It was a range haunt for several magicians in the many years to come till the shop shut in the new millennium.
Throughout this period of time, The Tropicana Evening Club, which was located at Pacific Plaza, was a venue that experienced typical magic performances. Many renowned magicians also visited Singapore in the 70s. In 1970, John Calvert performed at the Nationwide Theatre. In 1972, Albert Goshman visited Ring one hundred fifteen to give a lecture. In that exact same calendar year, “The Professor” Dai Vernon also visited Singapore, lectured and interacted with neighborhood magicians. Other visiting magicians integrated Andre Kole, Billy McComb, and Ali Bongo.
By the 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 executing magicians. A lot of of today’s veterans manufactured their identify 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 ended up carrying out frequently at community and personal exhibits during this ten years. Popular nearby venues for public magic demonstrates by magic golf equipment held on a normal foundation at that time provided the Drama Centre and the Nationwide Museum Theatrette.
The recognition of magic outlets also grew and in 1982, Chew Kin Tune opened a Magic & Novelty Corner at the Chinese E-book Area of Well-known E-book Co Pte Ltd on the 4th Floor of Bras Basah Complicated. alexander wilson opened up his initial magic store at Parkway Parade which subsequently moved to Marina Square and was managed by Richard Ang. Apart from this main store, he distributed magic things and sets through division stores
in Singapore and South East Asia.The Singapore audience was also uncovered to entire world-course magic via many magic television exhibits and sequence that had been aired on regional Television such as the David Copperfield specials, Magic Magic and The Best of Magic.
Foreign magicians who visited Singapore during this time provided David Copperfield, Mark Wilson, Ben Harris, Paul Daniels and Gene Anderson.
The beginning of this 10 years observed the introduction of the country’s 3rd generation magicians into the regional magic scene. Notable 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 neighborhood chapter of International Magicians Modern society was formed, established by its President, Tan Bah Chee even though the club’s presence in Singapore was limited-lived.
The late-1990s observed a massive surge in magic worldwide reputation owing to David Blaine’s avenue magic specials. A lot of folks began to ‘get into’ magic and experienced new mediums to understand the craft this kind of as the introduction of DVDs and the Web.
A new magic store, Magic Castle & Promotions, opened up by Vijay Kumar at Shaw Towers shortly grew to become ‘the location to be’ where new magicians would cling out and meet up with.
Throughout 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 properly recognized as Ang House of Magic. Patrick Wan opened his new shop, Magic Wand, which has spawned into numerous stores in various elements of Singapore. Steven Sim also opened Magic Supreme at Coronation Plaza which has subsequently moved to Park Shopping mall.
The 90s was an fascinating decade with several visits and performances by well-known magicians. Apart from lectures by Michael & Hannah Ammar, Mark Leveridge and Wolfgang & Sonja Riebe there had been 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 – Present
Magic has continued to prosper at the nearby stage in this decade. New opportunities and skills have emerged to elevate the art in Singapore. In Might 2000, J C Sum staged the 1st ever regional complete-night theatre demonstrate ‘Magic at the Theatre’ at Victoria Theatre. Just a thirty day period later, a lot more than a dozen magicians from the US and Canada arrived down to Singapore as part 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 demonstrates at different Centrepoint Malls for more than a 7 days.
In 2004, the Singapore Magic Circle (SMC) was created by Aloysius Yeo and with its on-line discussion board drew a new pool of magic fanatics with each other. SMC has considering that developed to above a thousand users and often arrange gatherings, events as well as the recent Idea:Magic Micro MAGIC Convention in January 2007.
Through 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 concept.
The multi-million greenback production has been staged a lot of times more than the many years throughout the world to unfold the term of Christ. Subsequently, the very same crew structured two Intercontinental Pageant of Magic conventions in 2003 & 2005. The 1st of its variety massive magic events included competitions, lectures, a dealers’ area and performances. Global performers such as Jeff McBride, Max Maven, Johnny Thomspon, The Pendragons, Lee Eun Gyeol and Tommy Ponder were booked to complete at the gala exhibits and lectures.
In current many years, J C Sum has turn out to be arguably the most prominent Singapore magician of this era. His magic has been witnessed by thousands and thousands via his live performances throughout Asia as well as his landmark mass media initiatives on MediaCorp Studio’s Ch 8 as nicely as subsequent ‘Street Illusions’ compilation DVD/ VCD.
His 24-episode ‘Magic in Motion’ collection can at the moment be observed daily on Singapore Push Holdings MediaBoxOffice by means of 2007. In the intercontinental magic community, 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 much more than thirty countries to date.
An additional proficient award-successful magician, Jeremy Pei, is raising the profile of Singapore magic inside of the regional magic group with his theatre displays, organized lectures, workshops and energetic participation in magic conventions & competitions in Japan, Korea, China, Thailand and Australia. His unique North-Asian affect design of magic functionality has garnered him a subsequent with new budding magicians whom he teaches and guides. He has also released several first magic merchandise which are offered to magicians around the world.
In an additional first, award-successful junior magician, Kyle Ravin secured a 13-episode weekly Avenue Magic collection, “Maya” on MediaCorp Studios’ Vasantham Central. This 30min sequence saw him execute magic for the Indian community and celebs throughout the place.
This 10 years has seen the introduction of even a lot more magic retailers and dealers operate by young magicians to satisfy the demand from customers of magic lovers and magicians. These consist of new ‘brick & mortar’ magic outlets such as Avenue Magic by Tan Wei Ping, Difficult Organization by Jimmy Wong, The Magic Corridor by Kenneth Peh as well as on-line retailers like The Tiny Magic Store by Ning.