A Continuing Journey In The Magic Historical past Of Singapore
March 8, 2021
This post is to introduce magicians and magic enthusiasts to the wealthy heritage of magic in Singapore. It honours the noteworthy achievements, prominence and significance of nearby magicians from the earlier and existing.
The starting of Contemporary Magic in Singapore
It is the standard consensus that present day magic in Singapore (publish Planet War two) began with the late-Ng Bo
Oen AKA The Fantastic Wong. Information on nearby magic pre-war is quite scarce. The only info discovered has been on The Fantastic Wong carrying out at the New Planet Amusement Park (then situated at Kitchener Highway) in the nineteen thirties.
The Wonderful Wong was born in 1908 in Shanton, a metropolis of the Guangdong Province, China and immigrated to Singapore in 1933. He was the only expert magician of his time in Singapore and done throughout South East Asia. He was identified 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 experienced the present of figuring out the mechanics and methodology of magic props and fabricating them from scratch.
In 1962, The Fantastic Wong created a substantial contribution to the worldwide magic community by publishing his popular linking rings regimen 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 carry out at the 15th World Congree of Magic in Lausanne, Switzerland.
(For much more data on The Wonderful Wong refer to ‘The Fantastic Wong Story’ in The International Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring 115 The Quantum Ring Golden Jubilee Problem)
Another local magician who was instrumental in developing modern magic in Singapore in the course of the commencing was the late-Tan Hock Chuan. He was a instructor by career but performed for yearly special activities, charity shows and non-public get-togethers. He was (and nonetheless is) internationally identified for his magical inventions. His consequences and suggestions are nevertheless marketed vendor items today and have been published in numerous publications (of that time) these kinds of as Gen, Spinx, Pentagram, New Pentagram, Swami Mantra, Abracadabra and even Tarbell’s Training course in Magic. He is the 1st Asian magician to acquire the Spinx Award (1936-37)
Both The Excellent Wong and Tan Hock Chuan were critical influences to numerous of the very first era of Singapore contemporary-magicians who have paved the way for foreseeable future generations.
It was only after the war and for the duration of the British Army Administration that magic in Singapore began its increase to in which it is nowadays. 1950 was the 12 months that the Singapore Magician’s Club was shaped by a group of novice magicians, comprising of English-educated specialists.
In 1951 the Singapore Magician’s Club acquired their constitution from The International Brotherhood of Magicians HQ in America and was from then on was formally identified as The International Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring a hundred and fifteen. Founding members 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 very first era of present day magicians. Apart from the founding users of the IBM Ring and The Excellent Wong (who joined the Ring in 1952 by invitation), some well known 1st era magicians incorporated Lim Hap Hin, Tan Choon Tee, Tan Bah Chee, Yeo Before long Kian and his scholar Michael Lim.
The Great Wong operated the first magic store from his property cum showroom/ workshop in Singapore at 255-A Jalan Besar in which he sold his own handcrafted props as properly as imported supplier things from Japan. (This property/ store was wrecked in a fireplace in Dec 1988 leading to him to shed most of his books and props)
During this interval, magicians like The Fantastic Wong, Tan Bah Chee, Lim Hap Hin and Tan Choon Tee executed magic programs at the Nationwide Theatre Club and the YMCA. They had been accountable for making energetic magicians such as Charles Choo, Wong Fok Choy, Chia Hearn Jiang, Gwee Thiam Hock and the late-Vijeyacone.
The early 60s also saw the ‘Golden Age’ of magic with magicians doing at diverse venues across the place. Besides regional magicians executing in night time clubs, foreign magicians this sort of as Socar done a grand illusion show to a full residence at the Capitol Theatre (along Stamford Street) and The Fantastic Nicholas at the Sky Theater in The Fantastic Entire world Amusement Park at Kim Seng Road (Now, Excellent World Metropolis).
In the late 60s, Wee Peng Guan (Uncle of Charles Choo), opened the next magic shop in Singapore at a shop home together Robinson Road. Around that time, well-known entertainer Victor Khoo’s father Khoo Teng Heng who was a magician, a ventriloquist and hypnotist opened his magic store at Bras Basah. (the place Carlton Hotel stands currently).
In the course of this decade, Tan Choon Tee was producing a identify for himself in the global magic group in the subject of Mentalism. He won numerous global Linking Ring Awards for his 1-Man Parades and has two books published by Micky Hades. He was also a typical contributor to numerous intercontinental magic magazines this kind of as Gen, New Pentagram, Magicgram, Magicana and The Linking Ring.
Overseas magicians whom handed via Singapore incorporated Milo & Roger, Milbourne Christopher and Maurice Fogel.
The seventies noticed the birth of the next generation of Singapore magicians. Some properly-acknowledged magicians who acquired started throughout this time included The Wonderful Wong’s son Ng Kee Chee, John Teo, Tang Sai Thong, Ng Seow Kiat, Tang Yeng Exciting, 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 ten March 1973 in helpful ‘rivalry’ to the IBM Ring. The club was led by Tan Bah Chee with distinguished founding members these kinds 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 shop in Peninsula Plaza. Charles Choo opened his store in August 1978 on the sixth flooring of Far East Searching Centre. (It would go numerous occasions to different malls but ultimately returned back to Much East). His shop would soon turn into an institution the place magicians would purchase a variety of magic merchandise as nicely as meet up and find out from every other.
It was a assortment haunt for several magicians in the several years to occur till the shop closed in the new millennium.
Throughout this period of time, The Tropicana Night Club, which was situated at Pacific Plaza, was a venue that experienced standard magic performances. A number of famous magicians also visited Singapore in the 70s. In 1970, John Calvert performed at the Nationwide Theatre. In 1972, Albert Goshman visited Ring a hundred and fifteen to give a lecture. In that identical yr, “The Professor” Dai Vernon also frequented Singapore, lectured and interacted with neighborhood magicians. Other going to magicians integrated Andre Kole, Billy McComb, and Ali Bongo.
By the eighties, the nearby magic scene was flourishing with healthful memberships for the two primary magic golf equipment as properly as a surge in the quantity of carrying out magicians. A lot of of present-day veterans manufactured their name 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 performing routinely at community and non-public displays throughout this decade. Well-known regional venues for community magic demonstrates by magic clubs held on a standard basis at that time incorporated the Drama Centre and the Nationwide Museum Theatrette.
The recognition of magic retailers also grew and in 1982, Chew Kin Track opened a Magic & Novelty Corner at the Chinese Ebook Part of Popular Ebook Co Pte Ltd on the 4th Flooring of Bras Basah Complicated. Gician Tan also opened up his initial magic store at Parkway Parade which subsequently moved to Marina Sq. and was managed by Richard Ang. Aside from this major shop, he distributed magic things and sets via division merchants
in Singapore and South East Asia.The Singapore audience was also exposed to world-course magic through several magic tv exhibits and series that were aired on regional Tv including the David Copperfield specials, Magic Magic and The Greatest of Magic.
Foreign magicians who visited Singapore throughout this time provided David Copperfield, Mark Wilson, Ben Harris, Paul Daniels and Gene Anderson.
The beginning of this ten years saw the introduction of the country’s 3rd technology magicians into the local magic scene. Notable budding magicians incorporated 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 local chapter of International Magicians Society was fashioned, launched by its President, Tan Bah Chee despite the fact that the club’s presence in Singapore was short-lived.
The late-nineteen nineties saw a enormous surge in magic global recognition owing to David Blaine’s avenue magic specials. Several individuals commenced to ‘get into’ magic and had 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 shortly turned ‘the spot to be’ exactly where new magicians would cling out and satisfy.
Throughout this 10 years, Wang Leng’s store in Peninsula Plaza was sold to Patrick Wan. The store was subsequently offered to Richard Ang and is now properly recognized as Ang Property of Magic. Patrick Wan opened his new store, Magic Wand, which has spawned into many stores in numerous 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 10 years with several visits and performances by renowned magicians. Apart from lectures by Michael & Hannah Ammar, Mark Leveridge and Wolfgang & Sonja Riebe there have been also community theatre performances by the Pendragons, Princess Tenko, Andre Kole, Franz Harary, David Copperfield, Rudy Coby and Robert Gallop. Other browsing magicians incorporated Larry Becker, Tim Ellis, Terry Seabrooke, Phil Cass and Albert Tham.
2000 – Existing
Magic has ongoing to flourish at the neighborhood amount in this ten years. New possibilities and talents have emerged to elevate the artwork in Singapore. In Might 2000, J C Sum staged the first ever local full-night theatre present ‘Magic at the Theatre’ at Victoria Theatre. Just a month 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 performed numerous displays at various Centrepoint Malls for over 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 fanatics jointly. SMC has since grown to above one thousand associates and routinely organize gatherings, activities as effectively as the latest Principle:Magic Micro MAGIC Conference in January 2007.
Via a big-scale theatre magic musical ‘Magic of Love’, Lawrence Khong, a pastor with Religion Community Baptist Church and his daughter Pricilla, distribute the gospel information.
The multi-million dollar manufacturing has been staged several instances more than the several years across the planet to spread the word of Christ. Subsequently, the exact same team organized two Global Festival of Magic conventions in 2003 & 2005. The first of its variety large magic events integrated competitions, lectures, a dealers’ room and performances. Worldwide performers this sort of as Jeff McBride, Max Maven, Johnny Thomspon, The Pendragons, Lee Eun Gyeol and Tommy Question have been booked to complete at the gala exhibits and lectures.
In Spiritual & Shamanic Cleansing , J C Sum has turn out to be arguably the most notable Singapore magician of this technology. His magic has been seen by millions via his dwell performances across Asia as properly as his landmark mass media tasks 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 witnessed day-to-day on Singapore Push Holdings MediaBoxOffice through 2007. In the worldwide magic local community, J C has also established himself as an elite illusion designer from Asia with the publication of his 3 critically acclaimed illusion guides that have been marketed in much more than thirty countries to date.
Yet another gifted award-successful magician, Jeremy Pei, is increasing the profile of Singapore magic in the regional magic community with his theatre displays, organized lectures, workshops and lively participation in magic conventions & competitions in Japan, Korea, China, Thailand and Australia. His distinct North-Asian influence style of magic functionality has garnered him a following with new budding magicians whom he teaches and guides. He has also introduced a number of original magic goods which are accessible to magicians around the world.
In one more first, award-winning junior magician, Kyle Ravin secured a thirteen-episode weekly Street Magic sequence, “Maya” on MediaCorp Studios’ Vasantham Central. This 30min collection saw him execute magic for the Indian local community and famous people throughout the country.
This decade has noticed the introduction of even more magic retailers and dealers operate by younger magicians to satisfy the desire of magic fans and magicians. These incorporate new ‘brick & mortar’ magic stores these kinds of as Street Magic by Tan Wei Ping, Tricky Company by Jimmy Wong, The Magic Hall by Kenneth Peh as nicely as on-line retailers like The Tiny Magic Shop by Ning.