A Continuing Journey In The Magic History Of Singapore

This write-up is to introduce magicians and magic lovers to the wealthy heritage of magic in Singapore. It honours the noteworthy achievements, prominence and significance of local magicians from the previous and present.

The commencing of Modern Magic in Singapore

It is the general consensus that contemporary magic in Singapore (put up Entire world War two) began with the late-Ng Bo

Oen AKA The Fantastic Wong. Details on local magic pre-war is really scarce. The only info found has been on The Excellent Wong performing at the New Globe Amusement Park (then located at Kitchener Road) in the nineteen thirties.

The Wonderful Wong was born in 1908 in Shanton, a city of the Guangdong Province, China and immigrated to Singapore in 1933. He was the only skilled magician of his time in Singapore and carried out across South East Asia. He was recognized for his sharp phase magic, Linking Rings regimen and Sword Basket illusion. He was also an specialist craftsman who created 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 Wonderful Wong made a considerable contribution to the international magic neighborhood by publishing his well-known linking rings regimen with English script written 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 World Congree of Magic in Lausanne, Switzerland.

(For much more info on The Excellent Wong refer to ‘The Great Wong Story’ in The Intercontinental Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring one hundred fifteen The Quantum Ring Golden Jubilee Concern)

Another regional magician who was instrumental in increasing modern day magic in Singapore during the commencing was the late-Tan Hock Chuan. He was a trainer by job but executed for once-a-year specific events, charity displays and private get-togethers. He was (and still is) internationally recognized for his magical inventions. His outcomes and tips are nonetheless promoted seller products today and have been revealed in numerous publications (of that time) such as Gen, Spinx, Pentagram, New Pentagram, Swami Mantra, Abracadabra and even Tarbell’s System in Magic. He is the first Asian magician to receive the Spinx Award (1936-37)

Each The Great Wong and Tan Hock Chuan were important influences to a lot of of the very first generation of Singapore present day-magicians who have paved the way for potential generations.


It was only soon after the war and in the course of the British Navy Administration that magic in Singapore began its increase to in which it is these days. 1950 was the 12 months that the Singapore Magician’s Club was fashioned by a team of newbie magicians, comprising of English-educated specialists.

In 1951 the Singapore Magician’s Club acquired their charter from The International Brotherhood of Magicians HQ in The usa and was from then on was officially known as The Worldwide Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring 115. Founding users of the club at that time incorporated 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 1st era of modern magicians. Besides the founding users of the IBM Ring and The Wonderful Wong (who joined the Ring in 1952 by invitation), some well known initial generation magicians integrated Lim Hap Hin, Tan Choon Tee, Tan Bah Chee, Yeo Before long Kian and his college student Michael Lim.

The Wonderful Wong operated the initial magic store from his residence cum showroom/ workshop in Singapore at 255-A Jalan Besar the place he bought his own handcrafted props as properly as imported vendor objects from Japan. (This home/ store was ruined in a fire in Dec 1988 creating him to get rid of most of his publications and props)

nineteen sixties

For the duration of this period of time, magicians like The Fantastic Wong, Tan Bah Chee, Lim Hap Hin and Tan Choon Tee executed magic courses at the Countrywide Theatre Club and the YMCA. They had been dependable for producing energetic magicians this sort of 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 executing at distinct venues throughout the place. Besides nearby magicians performing in night golf equipment, foreign magicians these kinds of as Socar executed a grand illusion display to a complete home at the Capitol Theatre (alongside Stamford Highway) and The Wonderful Nicholas at the Sky Theater in The Wonderful World Amusement Park at Kim Seng Street (Now, Excellent World Town).

In the late 60s, Wee Peng Guan (Uncle of Charles Choo), opened the second magic shop in Singapore at a shop home alongside Robinson Road. 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 at the moment).

In the course of this decade, Tan Choon Tee was making a title for himself in the worldwide magic neighborhood in the discipline of Mentalism. He won many global Linking Ring Awards for his 1-Guy Parades and has two publications published by Micky Hades. He was also a standard contributor to quite a few international magic magazines this kind 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.

nineteen seventies

The nineteen seventies saw the birth of the 2nd era of Singapore magicians. Some well-recognized magicians who acquired started out in the course of this time included The Excellent 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 founded on 10 March 1973 in friendly ‘rivalry’ to the IBM Ring. The club was led by Tan Bah Chee with distinguished founding associates this kind of as Lim Hap Hin, Tan Hock Chuan and Charles Choo.

Magic retailers in Singapore commenced 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 shop in Peninsula Plaza. Charles Choo opened his store in August 1978 on the 6th flooring of Significantly East Buying Centre. (It would go many times to various malls but eventually returned back to Far East). His shop would shortly grow to be an institution where magicians would purchase various magic items as nicely as meet up and learn from each and every other.

It was a assortment haunt for several magicians in the several years to appear until the shop closed in the new millennium.

In the course of this interval, The Tropicana Evening Club, which was situated at Pacific Plaza, was a venue that experienced standard magic performances. Numerous famous magicians also visited Singapore in the 70s. In 1970, John Calvert performed at the National Theatre. In 1972, Albert Goshman visited Ring a hundred and fifteen to give a lecture. In that very same calendar year, “The Professor” Dai Vernon also visited Singapore, lectured and interacted with local magicians. Other browsing magicians provided Andre Kole, Billy McComb, and Ali Bongo.


By the nineteen eighties, the nearby magic scene was flourishing with healthy memberships for the two main magic clubs as effectively as a surge in the variety of carrying out magicians. Several of present day veterans made their identify 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 executing routinely at general public and private exhibits during this ten years. Popular local venues for community magic displays by magic clubs held on a normal basis at that time incorporated the Drama Centre and the Countrywide Museum Theatrette.

The recognition of magic stores also grew and in 1982, Chew Kin Track opened a Magic & Novelty Corner at the Chinese Guide Segment of Well-liked Guide Co Pte Ltd on the 4th Floor of Bras Basah Sophisticated. Gician Tan also opened up his 1st magic store at Parkway Parade which subsequently moved to Marina Square and was managed by Richard Ang. Apart from this principal shop, he dispersed magic items and sets by way of department merchants

in Singapore and South East Asia.The Singapore audience was also uncovered to globe-class magic through a number of magic tv exhibits and series that have been aired on regional Television like the David Copperfield specials, Magic Magic and The Best of Magic.

International magicians who frequented Singapore throughout this time integrated 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 regional magic scene. Notable 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 International Magicians Society was formed, launched by its President, Tan Bah Chee though the club’s existence in Singapore was quick-lived.

The late-1990s saw a large surge in magic international reputation owing to David Blaine’s avenue magic specials. Several people commenced to ‘get into’ magic and experienced new mediums to discover 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 shortly became ‘the area to be’ the place new magicians would dangle out and meet.

For the duration of this 10 years, Wang Leng’s shop in Peninsula Plaza was marketed to Patrick Wan. The shop was subsequently offered to Richard Ang and is now well recognized as Ang Property of Magic. Patrick Wan opened his new store, Magic Wand, which has spawned into numerous outlets in different 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 10 years with many visits and performances by well-known magicians. Apart from lectures by Michael & Hannah Ammar, Mark Leveridge and Wolfgang & Sonja Riebe there were also community theatre performances by the Pendragons, Princess Tenko, Andre Kole, Franz Harary, David Copperfield, Rudy Coby and Robert Gallop. Other browsing magicians integrated Larry Becker, Tim Ellis, Terry Seabrooke, Phil Cass and Albert Tham.

2000 – Existing

Magic has continued to flourish at the nearby amount in this decade. New opportunities and abilities have emerged to elevate the art in Singapore. In May 2000, J C Sum staged the very first at any time regional entire-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 Pageant arranged by the Malls of Centrepoint. Magicians this sort of as Robert Baxt, Rocco and Peter Gossamer done several shows at a variety of 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 lovers jointly. SMC has since developed to above 1000 users and routinely manage gatherings, functions as effectively as the current Idea:Magic Micro MAGIC Convention in January 2007.

Through remove curse spell -scale theatre magic musical ‘Magic of Love’, Lawrence Khong, a pastor with Faith Local community Baptist Church and his daughter Pricilla, spread the gospel message.

The multi-million dollar manufacturing has been staged many moments over the a long time across the globe to unfold the word of Christ. Subsequently, the identical team structured two International Festival of Magic conventions in 2003 & 2005. The initial of its sort large magic functions integrated competitions, lectures, a dealers’ space and performances. Global performers this sort of as Jeff McBride, Max Maven, Johnny Thomspon, The Pendragons, Lee Eun Gyeol and Tommy Question had been booked to perform at the gala displays and lectures.

In recent a long time, J C Sum has become arguably the most notable Singapore magician of this technology. His magic has been noticed by millions via his stay performances across Asia as well as his landmark mass media initiatives on MediaCorp Studio’s Ch eight as properly as subsequent ‘Street Illusions’ compilation DVD/ VCD.

His 24-episode ‘Magic in Motion’ collection can at present be observed everyday on Singapore Push Holdings MediaBoxOffice via 2007. In the worldwide magic group, 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 marketed in a lot more than 30 nations around the world to day.

An additional proficient award-profitable magician, Jeremy Pei, is boosting the profile of Singapore magic in the regional magic local community with his theatre shows, organized lectures, workshops and active participation in magic conventions & competitions in Japan, Korea, China, Thailand and Australia. His distinct North-Asian influence design of magic performance has garnered him a subsequent with new budding magicians whom he teaches and guides. He has also released multiple authentic magic goods which are accessible to magicians around the world.

In another very first, award-profitable junior magician, Kyle Ravin secured a 13-episode weekly Road Magic sequence, “Maya” on MediaCorp Studios’ Vasantham Central. This 30min sequence observed him carry out magic for the Indian neighborhood and celebs across the nation.

This decade has observed the introduction of even more magic shops and sellers operate by youthful magicians to meet the demand from customers of magic lovers and magicians. These incorporate new ‘brick & mortar’ magic retailers this kind of as Road Magic by Tan Wei Ping, Tough Business by Jimmy Wong, The Magic Corridor by Kenneth Peh as well as on-line outlets like The Little Magic Store by Ning.

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