A Continuing Journey In The Magic History Of Singapore

This post is to introduce magicians and magic fans to the abundant historical past of magic in Singapore. It honours the notable achievements, prominence and importance of regional magicians from the earlier and present.

The starting of Contemporary Magic in Singapore

It is the common consensus that present day magic in Singapore (publish Globe War 2) began with the late-Ng Bo

Oen AKA The Excellent Wong. Info on neighborhood magic pre-war is quite scarce. The only information found has been on The Excellent Wong carrying out at the New Planet Amusement Park (then situated at Kitchener Road) in the 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 across South East Asia. He was known for his sharp stage magic, Linking Rings regimen and Sword Basket illusion. He was also an professional craftsman who created all of his props by hand. He experienced the reward of figuring out the mechanics and methodology of magic props and fabricating them from scratch.

In 1962, The Fantastic Wong produced a important contribution to the intercontinental magic local community by publishing his renowned linking rings schedule 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 Planet Congree of Magic in Lausanne, Switzerland.

(For more info on The Great Wong refer to ‘The Great Wong Story’ in The International Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring a hundred and fifteen The Quantum Ring Golden Jubilee Problem)

Yet another neighborhood magician who was instrumental in expanding contemporary magic in Singapore during the beginning was the late-Tan Hock Chuan. He was a trainer by job but performed for annual particular occasions, charity exhibits and private parties. He was (and still is) internationally recognized for his magical innovations. kit champignons hallucinog√®nes and concepts are still marketed supplier things these days and have been published in countless 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 first Asian magician to receive the Spinx Award (1936-37)

Both The Wonderful Wong and Tan Hock Chuan have been critical influences to a lot of of the 1st generation of Singapore present day-magicians who have paved the way for long term generations.

nineteen fifties

It was only after the war and during the British Army Administration that magic in Singapore began its rise to in which it is right now. 1950 was the year that the Singapore Magician’s Club was fashioned by a team of amateur magicians, comprising of English-educated pros.

In 1951 the Singapore Magician’s Club received their constitution from The Global Brotherhood of Magicians HQ in The usa and was from then on was formally acknowledged as The Global Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring one hundred fifteen. Founding associates of the club at that time integrated Tan Ewe Chee (President), Yeo Before long 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 beginning to Singapore’s initial era of present day magicians. Besides the founding users of the IBM Ring and The Great Wong (who joined the Ring in 1952 by invitation), some notable very first generation magicians integrated Lim Hap Hin, Tan Choon Tee, Tan Bah Chee, Yeo Before long Kian and his pupil Michael Lim.

The Fantastic Wong operated the first magic shop from his residence cum showroom/ workshop in Singapore at 255-A Jalan Besar exactly where he sold his own handcrafted props as nicely as imported vendor things from Japan. (This home/ store was destroyed in a hearth in Dec 1988 creating him to get rid of most of his textbooks and props)


For the duration of this period, magicians like The Wonderful Wong, Tan Bah Chee, Lim Hap Hin and Tan Choon Tee executed magic programs at the Nationwide Theatre Club and the YMCA. They were accountable for generating energetic magicians this kind of 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 executing at various venues throughout the region. Aside from local magicians doing in night time clubs, international magicians these kinds of as Socar executed a grand illusion show to a full property at the Capitol Theatre (together Stamford Highway) and The Great Nicholas at the Sky Theater in The Great Entire world Amusement Park at Kim Seng Road (Now, Excellent Globe Metropolis).

In the late 60s, Wee Peng Guan (Uncle of Charles Choo), opened the second magic store in Singapore at a shop home alongside Robinson Highway. Close to 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. (the place Carlton Resort stands presently).

For the duration of this decade, Tan Choon Tee was producing a name for himself in the global magic neighborhood in the subject of Mentalism. He won a number of global Linking Ring Awards for his One-Gentleman Parades and has two textbooks published by Micky Hades. He was also a normal contributor to quite a few intercontinental magic journals these kinds of as Gen, New Pentagram, Magicgram, Magicana and The Linking Ring.

Abroad magicians whom passed through Singapore integrated Milo & Roger, Milbourne Christopher and Maurice Fogel.

nineteen seventies

The nineteen seventies saw the birth of the next era of Singapore magicians. Some properly-recognized magicians who received started in the course of this time integrated The Great 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 established on 10 March 1973 in helpful ‘rivalry’ to the IBM Ring. The club was led by Tan Bah Chee with prominent founding members such as Lim Hap Hin, Tan Hock Chuan and Charles Choo.

Magic outlets in Singapore began to spring up during the late seventies. Ng Kee Chee established 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 floor of Considerably East Shopping Centre. (It would go numerous instances to different malls but at some point returned back again to Considerably East). His shop would before long turn into an institution in which magicians would get different magic merchandise as effectively as satisfy up and learn from each other.

It was a range haunt for numerous magicians in the many years to occur till the store closed in the new millennium.

During this interval, The Tropicana Night time Club, which was positioned at Pacific Plaza, was a location that had typical magic performances. A number of well-known magicians also frequented Singapore in the 70s. In 1970, John Calvert carried out at the Nationwide Theatre. In 1972, Albert Goshman visited Ring 115 to give a lecture. In that identical calendar year, “The Professor” Dai Vernon also visited Singapore, lectured and interacted with neighborhood magicians. Other checking out magicians incorporated Andre Kole, Billy McComb, and Ali Bongo.


By the nineteen eighties, the regional magic scene was flourishing with healthier memberships for the two main magic clubs as nicely as a surge in the variety of performing magicians. Numerous of present day veterans manufactured 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 public and non-public displays throughout this 10 years. Popular local venues for community magic displays by magic clubs held on a typical foundation at that time included the Drama Centre and the Nationwide Museum Theatrette.

The recognition of magic retailers also grew and in 1982, Chew Kin Music opened a Magic & Novelty Corner at the Chinese Book Area of Well-known Book Co Pte Ltd on the 4th Floor of Bras Basah Sophisticated. Gician Tan also opened up his initial magic shop at Parkway Parade which subsequently moved to Marina Square and was managed by Richard Ang. Apart from this principal store, he dispersed magic products and sets through department merchants

in Singapore and South East Asia.The Singapore audience was also uncovered to entire world-course magic via several magic television exhibits and collection that have been aired on local Tv like the David Copperfield specials, Magic Magic and The Ideal of Magic.

International magicians who visited Singapore in the course of this time provided David Copperfield, Mark Wilson, Ben Harris, Paul Daniels and Gene Anderson.


The beginning of this decade observed the introduction of the country’s third generation magicians into the local 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 nearby chapter of Worldwide Magicians Culture was formed, launched by its President, Tan Bah Chee even though the club’s presence in Singapore was quick-lived.

The late-nineties saw a massive surge in magic world-wide acceptance because of to David Blaine’s street magic specials. A lot of individuals began to ‘get into’ magic and experienced new mediums to find out the craft such as the introduction of DVDs and the Web.

A new magic shop, Magic Castle & Promotions, opened up by Vijay Kumar at Shaw Towers quickly turned ‘the spot to be’ where new magicians would dangle out and meet up with.

During this ten years, Wang Leng’s store in Peninsula Plaza was sold to Patrick Wan. The shop was subsequently marketed to Richard Ang and is now nicely recognized as Ang Residence of Magic. Patrick Wan opened his new store, Magic Wand, which has spawned into many stores in numerous parts of Singapore. Steven Sim also opened Magic Supreme at Coronation Plaza which has subsequently moved to Park Shopping mall.

The 90s was an interesting ten years with many visits and performances by famous magicians. Aside from lectures by Michael & Hannah Ammar, Mark Leveridge and Wolfgang & Sonja Riebe there ended up also community theatre performances by the Pendragons, Princess Tenko, Andre Kole, Franz Harary, David Copperfield, Rudy Coby and Robert Gallop. Other checking out magicians provided Larry Becker, Tim Ellis, Terry Seabrooke, Phil Cass and Albert Tham.

2000 – Present

Magic has ongoing to prosper at the nearby stage in this decade. New opportunities and abilities have emerged to elevate the art in Singapore. In Might 2000, J C Sum staged the first ever nearby full-evening theatre present ‘Magic at the Theatre’ at Victoria Theatre. Just a thirty day period later on, far more than a dozen magicians from the US and Canada arrived down to Singapore as element of the Magic Competition structured by the Malls of Centrepoint. Magicians such as Robert Baxt, Rocco and Peter Gossamer executed several displays at numerous Centrepoint Malls for over a 7 days.

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 since developed to over 1000 members and routinely organize gatherings, activities as nicely as the current Idea:Magic Micro MAGIC Conference in January 2007.

By way of a big-scale theatre magic musical ‘Magic of Love’, Lawrence Khong, a pastor with Faith Neighborhood Baptist Church and his daughter Pricilla, distribute the gospel message.

The multi-million greenback creation has been staged a lot of moments over the a long time across the planet to spread the word of Christ. Subsequently, the exact same team structured two Worldwide Competition of Magic conventions in 2003 & 2005. The 1st of its kind large magic activities provided competitions, lectures, a dealers’ area and performances. International performers these kinds of as Jeff McBride, Max Maven, Johnny Thomspon, The Pendragons, Lee Eun Gyeol and Tommy Question ended up booked to carry out at the gala exhibits and lectures.

In recent several years, J C Sum has turn out to be arguably the most notable Singapore magician of this generation. His magic has been observed by hundreds of thousands by means of his dwell performances throughout Asia as well as his landmark mass media assignments on MediaCorp Studio’s Ch 8 as effectively as subsequent ‘Street Illusions’ compilation DVD/ VCD.

His 24-episode ‘Magic in Motion’ sequence can at present be noticed everyday on Singapore Push Holdings MediaBoxOffice by way of 2007. In the worldwide magic community, J C has also established himself as an elite illusion designer from Asia with the publication of his 3 critically acclaimed illusion textbooks that have been bought in much more than 30 nations to day.

An additional gifted award-profitable magician, Jeremy Pei, is boosting the profile of Singapore magic inside the regional magic neighborhood with his theatre displays, organized lectures, workshops and energetic participation in magic conventions & competitions in Japan, Korea, China, Thailand and Australia. His exclusive North-Asian affect type of magic performance has garnered him a adhering to with new budding magicians whom he teaches and guides. He has also released numerous first magic goods which are available to magicians globally.

In yet another first, award-successful junior magician, Kyle Ravin secured a 13-episode weekly Avenue Magic collection, “Maya” on MediaCorp Studios’ Vasantham Central. This 30min collection saw him perform magic for the Indian group and celebrities across the nation.

This ten years has seen the introduction of even far more magic shops and sellers operate by young magicians to meet up with the demand from customers of magic lovers and magicians. These incorporate new ‘brick & mortar’ magic shops these kinds of as Avenue Magic by Tan Wei Ping, Difficult Organization by Jimmy Wong, The Magic Corridor by Kenneth Peh as effectively as on-line shops like The Minor Magic Shop by Ning.

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