This short article is to introduce magicians and magic fans to the wealthy history of magic in Singapore. It honours the notable achievements, prominence and significance of community magicians from the past and present.
The beginning of Modern-day Magic in Singapore
It is the basic consensus that fashionable magic in Singapore (article Environment War 2) started with the late-Ng Bo
Oen AKA The Good Wong. Info on local magic pre-war is extremely scarce. The only facts uncovered has been on The Great Wong accomplishing at the New Globe Amusement Park (then found at Kitchener Street) in the 1930s.
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 skilled magician of his time in Singapore and executed across South East Asia. He was acknowledged for his sharp phase magic, Linking Rings plan and Sword Basket illusion. He was also an expert craftsman who crafted 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 Good Wong designed a sizeable contribution to the international magic local community by publishing his famous linking rings regimen with English script published 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 15th World Congree of Magic in Lausanne, Switzerland.
(For more data on The Excellent Wong refer to ‘The Wonderful Wong Story’ in The Worldwide Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring 115 The Quantum Ring Golden Jubilee Problem)
Another local magician who was instrumental in growing modern-day magic in Singapore through the starting was the late-Tan Hock Chuan. He was a instructor by career but executed for annual exclusive events, charity shows and private functions. He was (and nevertheless is) internationally recognized for his magical innovations. His results and strategies are nonetheless promoted dealer objects these days and have been revealed in countless publications (of that time) these kinds of as Gen, Spinx, Pentagram, New Pentagram, Swami Mantra, Abracadabra and even Tarbell’s Program in Magic. He is the first Asian magician to receive the Spinx Award (1936-37)
Equally The Terrific Wong and Tan Hock Chuan have been significant influences to numerous of the first technology of Singapore present day-magicians who have paved the way for long term generations.
It was only immediately after the war and throughout the British Armed service Administration that magic in Singapore began its rise to where it is nowadays. 1950 was the yr that the Singapore Magician’s Club was shaped by a group of newbie magicians, comprising of English-educated experts.
In 1951 the Singapore Magician’s Club obtained their constitution from The Global Brotherhood of Magicians HQ in The united states and was from then on was officially recognized as The Intercontinental Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring 115. Founding users of the club at that time provided 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 start to Singapore’s to start with generation of modern day magicians. In addition to the founding members of the IBM Ring and The Wonderful Wong (who joined the Ring in 1952 by invitation), some popular very first generation magicians integrated Lim Hap Hin, Tan Choon Tee, Tan Bah Chee, Yeo Soon Kian and his college student Michael Lim.
The Great Wong operated the 1st magic store from his house cum showroom/ workshop in Singapore at 255-A Jalan Besar where he offered his personal handcrafted props as effectively as imported dealer merchandise from Japan. (This household/ store was wrecked in a fireplace in Dec 1988 resulting in him to lose most of his textbooks and props)
Through this interval, magicians like The Wonderful Wong, Tan Bah Chee, Lim Hap Hin and Tan Choon Tee done magic courses at the Nationwide Theatre Club and the YMCA. They had been dependable for developing energetic 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 doing at various venues throughout the nation. In addition to local magicians carrying out in night clubs, foreign magicians these kinds of as Socar executed a grand illusion exhibit to a total dwelling at the Capitol Theatre (together Stamford Road) and The Good Nicholas at the Sky Theater in The Terrific Entire world Amusement Park at Kim Seng Highway (Now, Excellent Earth Town).
In the late 60s, Wee Peng Guan (Uncle of Charles Choo), opened the next magic shop in Singapore at a store dwelling together Robinson Highway. All-around that time, popular entertainer Victor Khoo’s father Khoo Teng Heng who was a magician, a ventriloquist and hypnotist opened his magic shop at Bras Basah. (in which Carlton Hotel stands at the moment).
During this 10 years, Tan Choon Tee was making a title for himself in the intercontinental magic group in the area of Mentalism. He received numerous international Linking Ring Awards for his A single-Guy Parades and has two books printed by Micky Hades. He was also a common contributor to several worldwide magic publications this kind of as Gen, New Pentagram, Magicgram, Magicana and The Linking Ring.
Abroad magicians whom handed by Singapore integrated Milo & Roger, Milbourne Christopher and Maurice Fogel.
The 1970s observed the start of the 2nd era of Singapore magicians. Some perfectly-regarded magicians who acquired commenced throughout this time incorporated The Wonderful Wong’s son Ng Kee Chee, John Teo, Tang Sai Thong, Ng Seow Kiat, Tang Yeng Enjoyable, Bob Chua, Eric Leong, Tan Teck Seng, Lawrence Tham, Tan Tuan Seng, Lawrence Khong and Andrew Kong.
The Singapore Association of Magicians was founded on 10 March 1973 in welcoming ‘rivalry’ to the IBM Ring. The club was led by Tan Bah Chee with prominent founding associates these types of as Lim Hap Hin, Tan Hock Chuan and Charles Choo.
Magic retailers in Singapore began to spring up during 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 Far East Searching Centre. (It would go many periods to various malls but eventually returned back again to Far East). His store would soon become an establishment where magicians would get different magic goods as well as meet up with up and find out from just about every other.
It was a range haunt for quite a few magicians in the yrs to come until the store shut in the new millennium.
Through this time period, The Tropicana Night time Club, which was situated at Pacific Plaza, was a venue that experienced normal magic performances. Numerous well known magicians also frequented Singapore in the 70s. In 1970, John Calvert performed at the Countrywide Theatre. In 1972, Albert Goshman frequented Ring 115 to give a lecture. In that exact same calendar year, “The Professor” Dai Vernon also frequented Singapore, lectured and interacted with area magicians. Other going to magicians bundled Andre Kole, Billy McComb, and Ali Bongo.
By the 1980s, the community magic scene was flourishing with nutritious memberships for the two most important magic golf equipment as well as a surge in the number of performing magicians. Quite a few of modern veterans made their title 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 undertaking consistently at community and non-public shows all through this 10 years. Well-liked regional venues for public magic displays by magic golf equipment held on a typical basis at that time integrated the Drama Centre and the Countrywide Museum Theatrette.
The recognition of magic retailers also grew and in 1982, Chew Kin Track opened a Magic & Novelty Corner at the Chinese Guide Part of Common Book Co Pte Ltd on the 4th Floor of Bras Basah Elaborate. 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. Apart from this most important store, he distributed magic things and sets by means of section stores
in Singapore and South East Asia.The Singapore audience was also exposed to planet-course magic through various magic television reveals and collection that were aired on nearby Television set together with the David Copperfield specials, Magic Magic and The Best of Magic.
Foreign magicians who visited Singapore through this time incorporated David Copperfield, Mark Wilson, Ben Harris, Paul Daniels and Gene Anderson.
The beginning of this 10 years saw the introduction of the country’s third generation magicians into the area 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 Intercontinental Magicians Society was shaped, started by its President, Tan Bah Chee despite the fact that the club’s presence in Singapore was short-lived.
The late-1990s observed a substantial surge in magic international popularity due to David Blaine’s road magic specials. Many persons started off to ‘get into’ magic and experienced new mediums to study the craft this kind of as the introduction of DVDs and the World-wide-web.
A new magic store, Magic Castle & Promotions, opened up by Vijay Kumar at Shaw Towers soon became ‘the spot to be’ in which new magicians would hang out and satisfy.
During this decade, Wang Leng’s store in Peninsula Plaza was offered to Patrick Wan. The shop was subsequently marketed to Richard Ang and is now properly known as Ang Dwelling of Magic. Patrick Wan opened his new store, Magic Wand, which has spawned into numerous stores in different sections of Singapore. Steven Sim also opened Magic Supreme at Coronation Plaza which has subsequently moved to Park Mall.
The 90s was an interesting ten years with lots of visits and performances by well-known magicians. Aside 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 browsing magicians bundled Larry Becker, Tim Ellis, Terry Seabrooke, Phil Cass and Albert Tham.
2000 – Existing
Magic has ongoing to flourish at the area stage in this ten years. New prospects and talents have emerged to elevate the art in Singapore. In May well 2000, J C Sum staged the initial at any time local entire-night theatre show ‘Magic at the Theatre’ at Victoria Theatre. Just a month afterwards, a lot more than a dozen magicians from the US and Canada arrived down to Singapore as portion of the Magic Festival structured by the Malls of Centrepoint. Magicians this kind of as Robert Baxt, Rocco and Peter Gossamer done multiple demonstrates at various Centrepoint Malls for more than a week.
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 enthusiasts together. SMC has given that developed to over 1000 members and on a regular basis arrange gatherings, gatherings as perfectly as the current Thought:Magic Micro MAGIC Convention in January 2007.
By way of a significant-scale theatre magic musical ‘Magic of Love’, Lawrence Khong, a pastor with Religion Local community Baptist Church and his daughter Pricilla, distribute the gospel message.
The multi-million greenback output has been staged a lot of periods about the many years across the earth to distribute the word of Christ. Subsequently, the similar staff arranged two Worldwide Festival of Magic conventions in 2003 & 2005. The to start with of its sort massive magic occasions incorporated competitions, lectures, a dealers’ place and performances. International performers this kind of as Jeff McBride, Max Maven, Johnny Thomspon, The Pendragons, Lee Eun Gyeol and Tommy Question have been booked to complete at the gala demonstrates and lectures.
In new many years, J C Sum has grow to be arguably the most outstanding Singapore magician of this era. His magic has been witnessed by thousands and thousands by his stay performances across Asia as well as his landmark mass media tasks on MediaCorp Studio’s Ch 8 as well as subsequent ‘Street Illusions’ compilation DVD/ VCD.
His 24-episode ‘Magic in Motion’ collection can at present be viewed each day on Singapore Push Holdings MediaBoxOffice via 2007. In the international magic neighborhood, J C has also proven himself as an elite illusion designer from Asia with the publication of his 3 critically acclaimed illusion publications that have been bought in far more than 30 international locations to date.
A different talented award-profitable magician, Jeremy Pei, is raising the profile of Singapore magic inside of the regional magic neighborhood with his theatre demonstrates, structured lectures, workshops and active participation in magic conventions & competitions in Japan, Korea, China, Thailand and Australia. His distinctive North-Asian influence model of magic functionality has garnered him a subsequent with new budding magicians whom he teaches and guides. He has also introduced a number of original magic items which are readily available to magicians globally.
In an additional initially, award-successful junior magician, Kyle Ravin secured a 13-episode weekly Road Magic series, “Maya” on MediaCorp Studios’ Vasantham Central. This 30min sequence saw him carry out magic for the Indian community and celebrities throughout the state.
This 10 years has found the introduction of even much more magic shops and sellers operate by youthful magicians to meet the demand from customers of magic fans and magicians. These involve new ‘brick & mortar’ magic stores these kinds of as Street Magic by Tan Wei Ping, Difficult Business by Jimmy Wong, The Magic Hall by Kenneth Peh as nicely as on-line outlets like The Minor Magic Store by Ning.
Checking out magicians as a result much for the new millennium have involved Joshua Jay, Shoot Ogawa, Charles Gucci, Nicholas Einhorn.
And the Magic Record of Singapore proceeds to be written…