This post is to introduce magicians and magic enthusiasts to the abundant historical past of magic in Singapore. It honours the notable achievements, prominence and importance of nearby magicians from the past and present.
The commencing of Contemporary Magic in Singapore
It is the general consensus that modern magic in Singapore (publish Entire world War 2) began with the late-Ng Bo
Oen AKA The Great Wong. Info on regional magic pre-war is very scarce. The only information discovered has been on The Wonderful Wong performing at the New World Amusement Park (then situated at Kitchener Street) in the nineteen 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 skilled magician of his time in Singapore and done across South East Asia. He was acknowledged for his sharp phase magic, Linking Rings program and Sword Basket illusion. He was also an professional craftsman who developed all of his props by hand. He had the reward of figuring out the mechanics and methodology of magic props and fabricating them from scratch.
In 1962, The Excellent Wong produced a considerable contribution to the global magic local community by publishing his renowned linking rings program with English script prepared 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 fifteenth Globe Congree of Magic in Lausanne, Switzerland.
(For more data on The Great Wong refer to ‘The Excellent Wong Story’ in The Worldwide Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring 115 The Quantum Ring Golden Jubilee Issue)
An additional nearby magician who was instrumental in expanding present day magic in Singapore in the course of the starting was the late-Tan Hock Chuan. He was a instructor by job but performed for annual special functions, charity exhibits and personal functions. He was (and nonetheless is) internationally recognized for his magical innovations. His effects and concepts are nevertheless promoted dealer things these days and have been published in many publications (of that time) this sort 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 receive the Spinx Award (1936-37)
Equally The Wonderful Wong and Tan Hock Chuan were crucial influences to a lot of of the initial technology of Singapore modern day-magicians who have paved the way for future generations.
It was only after the war and throughout the British Army Administration that magic in Singapore commenced its increase to where it is today. 1950 was the 12 months that the Singapore Magician’s Club was formed by a team of amateur magicians, comprising of English-educated professionals.
In 1951 the Singapore Magician’s Club acquired their charter from The Worldwide Brotherhood of Magicians HQ in The united states and was from then on was officially recognized as The Global Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring one hundred fifteen. Founding customers of the club at that time incorporated Tan Ewe Chee (President), Yeo Shortly 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 first era of modern day magicians. Besides the founding members of the IBM Ring and The Great Wong (who joined the Ring in 1952 by invitation), some distinguished first era magicians included Lim Hap Hin, Tan Choon Tee, Tan Bah Chee, Yeo Before long Kian and his pupil Michael Lim.
The Excellent Wong operated the 1st magic shop from his home cum showroom/ workshop in Singapore at 255-A Jalan Besar the place he offered his personal handcrafted props as properly as imported dealer things from Japan. (This home/ shop was wrecked in a fireplace in Dec 1988 creating him to shed most of his publications and props)
For the duration of this time period, magicians like The Wonderful Wong, Tan Bah Chee, Lim Hap Hin and Tan Choon Tee executed magic classes at the Countrywide Theatre Club and the YMCA. They ended up dependable for creating 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 executing at distinct venues across the place. Besides regional magicians doing in night time clubs, overseas magicians such as Socar done a grand illusion demonstrate to a complete home at the Capitol Theatre (along Stamford Highway) and The Fantastic Nicholas at the Sky Theater in The Wonderful Globe Amusement Park at Kim Seng Highway (Now, Great Globe Town).
In the late 60s, Wee Peng Guan (Uncle of Charles Choo), opened the next magic store in Singapore at a shop property alongside Robinson Street. About that time, popular 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 Hotel stands at present).
For the duration of this decade, Tan Choon Tee was making a title for himself in the international magic local community in the subject of Mentalism. He won a number of worldwide Linking Ring Awards for his One-Gentleman Parades and has two guides published by Micky Hades. He was also a standard contributor to numerous intercontinental magic publications this kind of as Gen, New Pentagram, Magicgram, Magicana and The Linking Ring.
Overseas magicians whom passed by means of Singapore provided Milo & Roger, Milbourne Christopher and Maurice Fogel.
The seventies saw the start of the second technology of Singapore magicians. Some effectively-identified magicians who got started out throughout this time integrated The Fantastic 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 started on ten March 1973 in pleasant ‘rivalry’ to the IBM Ring. The club was led by Tan Bah Chee with prominent founding associates this kind of as Lim Hap Hin, Tan Hock Chuan and Charles Choo.
Magic outlets in Singapore commenced 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 store in August 1978 on the 6th ground of Significantly East Shopping Centre. (It would go numerous occasions to a variety of malls but at some point returned back again to Considerably East). His store would quickly turn into an establishment exactly where magicians would buy various magic products as nicely as meet up and learn from each and every other.
It was a selection haunt for numerous magicians in the many years to come till the shop shut in the new millennium.
For the duration of this period of time, The Tropicana Evening Club, which was situated at Pacific Plaza, was a location that experienced normal magic performances. Numerous famous 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 identical calendar year, “The Professor” Dai Vernon also frequented Singapore, lectured and interacted with nearby magicians. Other going to magicians incorporated Andre Kole, Billy McComb, and Ali Bongo.
By the 1980s, the local magic scene was flourishing with wholesome memberships for the two major magic golf equipment as properly as a surge in the amount of carrying out magicians. Many of present day veterans produced 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 had been performing frequently at general public and private exhibits throughout this decade. alexander wilson for general public magic demonstrates by magic clubs held on a standard foundation at that time included the Drama Centre and the Nationwide Museum Theatrette.
The recognition of magic stores also grew and in 1982, Chew Kin Tune opened a Magic & Novelty Corner at the Chinese E-book Area of Well-known Book Co Pte Ltd on the 4th Ground of Bras Basah Sophisticated. Gician Tan also opened up his 1st magic shop at Parkway Parade which subsequently moved to Marina Sq. and was managed by Richard Ang. Besides this principal store, he dispersed magic things and sets by way of office merchants
in Singapore and South East Asia.The Singapore viewers was also exposed to globe-course magic through several magic television shows and collection that ended up aired on local Television set such as the David Copperfield specials, Magic Magic and The Ideal of Magic.
Overseas magicians who frequented Singapore throughout this time provided David Copperfield, Mark Wilson, Ben Harris, Paul Daniels and Gene Anderson.
The starting of this 10 years saw the introduction of the country’s 3rd technology magicians into the regional magic scene. Distinguished 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 Global Magicians Society was fashioned, established by its President, Tan Bah Chee even though the club’s existence in Singapore was short-lived.
The late-nineties noticed a enormous surge in magic international reputation because of to David Blaine’s street magic specials. Numerous men and women started out to ‘get into’ magic and had new mediums to discover the craft this kind of as the introduction of DVDs and the Net.
A new magic shop, Magic Castle & Promotions, opened up by Vijay Kumar at Shaw Towers soon grew to become ‘the spot to be’ exactly where new magicians would cling out and satisfy.
In the course of this decade, Wang Leng’s store in Peninsula Plaza was sold to Patrick Wan. The store was subsequently offered to Richard Ang and is now properly known as Ang Home of Magic. Patrick Wan opened his new shop, Magic Wand, which has spawned into several outlets in different components 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 numerous visits and performances by popular magicians. Apart from lectures by Michael & Hannah Ammar, Mark Leveridge and Wolfgang & Sonja Riebe there ended up also general public theatre performances by the Pendragons, Princess Tenko, Andre Kole, Franz Harary, David Copperfield, Rudy Coby and Robert Gallop. Other browsing magicians provided Larry Becker, Tim Ellis, Terry Seabrooke, Phil Cass and Albert Tham.
2000 – Existing
Magic has continued to flourish at the neighborhood amount in this ten years. New chances and talents have emerged to elevate the art in Singapore. In Could 2000, J C Sum staged the initial at any time local complete-evening theatre display ‘Magic at the Theatre’ at Victoria Theatre. Just a month later, far more than a dozen magicians from the US and Canada came down to Singapore as part of the Magic Festival structured by the Malls of Centrepoint. Magicians such as Robert Baxt, Rocco and Peter Gossamer executed a number of displays at different Centrepoint Malls for over a 7 days.
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 since developed to in excess of 1000 customers and routinely organize gatherings, occasions as well as the current Concept:Magic Micro MAGIC Convention in January 2007.
Through a huge-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 dollar production has been staged many occasions in excess of the years across the globe to unfold the word of Christ. Subsequently, the very same group arranged two Global Pageant of Magic conventions in 2003 & 2005. The first of its variety large magic activities incorporated competitions, lectures, a dealers’ space and performances. Worldwide performers this sort of as Jeff McBride, Max Maven, Johnny Thomspon, The Pendragons, Lee Eun Gyeol and Tommy Surprise had been booked to carry out at the gala displays and lectures.
In modern many years, J C Sum has turn out to be arguably the most prominent Singapore magician of this generation. His magic has been observed by hundreds of thousands via his dwell performances across Asia as properly as his landmark mass media assignments on MediaCorp Studio’s Ch eight as properly as subsequent ‘Street Illusions’ compilation DVD/ VCD.
His 24-episode ‘Magic in Motion’ collection can presently be noticed every day on Singapore Push Holdings MediaBoxOffice via 2007. In the worldwide magic community, J C has also recognized himself as an elite illusion designer from Asia with the publication of his three critically acclaimed illusion books that have been bought in a lot more than 30 nations to day.
An additional gifted award-winning magician, Jeremy Pei, is increasing the profile of Singapore magic in the regional magic local community with his theatre exhibits, organized lectures, workshops and lively participation in magic conventions & competitions in Japan, Korea, China, Thailand and Australia. His distinctive North-Asian influence design of magic efficiency has garnered him a following with new budding magicians whom he teaches and guides. He has also launched a number of first magic products which are accessible to magicians throughout the world.
In another initial, award-profitable junior magician, Kyle Ravin secured a thirteen-episode weekly Avenue Magic series, “Maya” on MediaCorp Studios’ Vasantham Central. This 30min collection noticed him carry out magic for the Indian group and superstars throughout the country.
This ten years has noticed the introduction of even much more magic retailers and dealers run by youthful magicians to meet the demand from customers of magic enthusiasts and magicians. These include new ‘brick & mortar’ magic stores this kind of as Road Magic by Tan Wei Ping, Challenging Company by Jimmy Wong, The Magic Hall by Kenneth Peh as properly as on-line shops like The Little Magic Store by Ning.