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December 13, 2020

A Continuing Journey In The Magic History Of Singapore

This text is to introduce magicians and magic fans to the wealthy historical past of magic in Singapore. It honours the notable achievements, prominence and significance of native magicians from the previous and current.

The start of Fashionable Magic in Singapore

It’s the normal consensus that trendy magic in Singapore (publish World Struggle 2) started with the late-Ng Bo

Oen AKA The Nice Wong. Data on native magic pre-war could be very scarce. The one info discovered has been on The Nice Wong performing on the New World Amusement Park (then positioned at Kitchener Street) within the 1930s.

The Nice Wong was born in 1908 in Shanton, a metropolis of the Guangdong Province, China and immigrated to Singapore in 1933. He was the one skilled magician of his time in Singapore and carried out throughout South East Asia. He was recognized for his sharp stage magic, Linking Rings routine and Sword Basket phantasm. He was additionally an knowledgeable craftsman who constructed all of his props by hand. He had the present of determining the mechanics and methodology of magic props and fabricating them from scratch.

In 1962, The Nice Wong made a big contribution to the worldwide magic neighborhood by publishing his well-known linking rings routine with English script written by Tudor Brock. Davenports Magic in London distributes his manuscript up to now. In 1982, he was invited by the Federation Internationale des Societes Magiques (FISM) to carry out on the 15th World Congree of Magic in Lausanne, Switzerland.

(For more information on The Nice Wong; consult with ‘The Nice Wong Story’ in The Worldwide Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring 115 The Quantum Ring Golden Jubilee Problem)

One other native magician who was instrumental in rising trendy magic in Singapore through the starting was the late-Tan Hock Chuan. He was a instructor by career however carried out for annual particular occasions, charity reveals and personal events. He was (and nonetheless is) internationally recognized for his magical innovations. His results and concepts are nonetheless marketed supplier objects right now and have been printed in numerous publications (of that point) reminiscent of Gen, Spinx, Pentagram, New Pentagram, Swami Mantra, Abracadabra and even Tarbell’s Course in Magic. He’s the primary Asian magician to obtain the Spinx Award (1936-37)

Each The Nice Wong and Tan Hock Chuan had been essential influences to most of the first technology of Singapore modern-magicians who’ve paved the way in which for future generations.


It was solely after the battle and through the British Army Administration that magic in Singapore started its rise to the place it’s right now. 1950 was the 12 months that the Singapore Magician’s Membership was shaped by a gaggle of newbie magicians, comprising of English-educated professionals.

In 1951 the Singapore Magician’s Membership acquired their constitution from The Worldwide Brotherhood of Magicians HQ in America and was from then on was formally often known as The Worldwide Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring 115. Founding members of the membership at the moment included 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 beginning to Singapore’s first technology of recent magicians. Apart from the founding members of the IBM Ring and The Nice Wong (who joined the Ring in 1952 by invitation), some outstanding first technology magicians included Lim Hap Hin, Tan Choon Tee, Tan Bah Chee, Yeo Quickly Kian and his pupil Michael Lim.

The Nice Wong operated the primary magic store from his house cum showroom/ workshop in Singapore at 255-A Jalan Besar the place he offered his personal handcrafted props in addition to imported supplier objects from Japan. (This house/ store was destroyed in a hearth in Dec 1988 inflicting him to lose most of his books and props)


Throughout this era, magicians like The Nice Wong, Tan Bah Chee, Lim Hap Hin and Tan Choon Tee carried out magic programs on the Nationwide Theatre Membership and the YMCA. They had been answerable for producing lively magicians reminiscent of Charles Choo, Wong Fok Choy, Chia Hearn Jiang, Gwee Thiam Hock and the late-Vijeyacone.

The early 60s additionally noticed the ‘Golden Age’ of magic with magicians acting at completely different venues throughout the nation. Apart from native magicians performing in evening golf equipment, overseas magicians reminiscent of Socar carried out a grand phantasm present to a full home on the Capitol Theatre (alongside Stamford Street) and The Nice Nicholas on the Sky Theater in The Nice World Amusement Park at Kim Seng Street (Now, Nice World Metropolis).

Within the late 60s, Wee Peng Guan (Uncle of Charles Choo), opened the second magic store in Singapore at a store home alongside Robinson Street. Round that point, in style 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 Lodge stands presently).

Throughout this decade, Tan Choon Tee was making a reputation for himself within the worldwide magic neighborhood within the subject of Mentalism. He received a number of worldwide Linking Ring Awards for his One-Man Parades and has two books printed by Micky Hades. He was additionally an everyday contributor to quite a few worldwide magic magazines reminiscent of Gen, New Pentagram, Magicgram, Magicana and The Linking Ring.

Abroad magicians whom handed by way of Singapore included Milo & Roger, Milbourne Christopher and Maurice Fogel.


The 1970s noticed the beginning of the second technology of Singapore magicians. Some well-known magicians who obtained began throughout this time included; The Nice 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 Affiliation of Magicians was based on 10 March 1973 in pleasant ‘rivalry’ to the IBM Ring. The membership was led by Tan Bah Chee with outstanding founding members reminiscent of Lim Hap Hin, Tan Hock Chuan and Charles Choo.

Magic outlets in Singapore started to spring up through the late seventies. Ng Kee Chee arrange 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 sixth ground of Far East Purchasing Centre. (It will transfer a number of occasions to varied malls however ultimately returned again to Far East). His store would quickly turn out to be an establishment the place magicians would purchase varied magic merchandise in addition to meet up and be taught from one another.

It was a spread hang-out for a lot of magicians within the years to return until the store closed within the new millennium.

Throughout this era, The Tropicana Night time Membership, which was located at Pacific Plaza, was a venue that had common magic performances. A number of well-known magicians additionally visited Singapore within the 70s. In 1970, John Calvert carried out on the Nationwide Theatre. In 1972, Albert Goshman visited Ring 115 to offer a lecture. In that very same 12 months, “The Professor” Dai Vernon additionally visited Singapore, lectured and interacted with native magicians. Different visiting magicians included Andre Kole, Billy McComb, and Ali Bongo.


By the 1980s, the native magic scene was flourishing with wholesome memberships for the 2 important magic golf equipment in addition to a surge within the variety of performing magicians. Lots of right now’s veterans made their identify within 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 had been performing recurrently at private and non-private reveals throughout this decade. In style native venues for public magic reveals by magic golf equipment held frequently at the moment included the Drama Centre and the Nationwide Museum Theatrette.

The recognition of magic outlets additionally grew and in 1982, Chew Kin Tune opened a Magic & Novelty Nook on the Chinese language Ebook Part of In style Ebook Co Pte Ltd on the 4th Flooring of Bras Basah Complicated. Gician Tan additionally opened up his first magic store at Parkway Parade which subsequently moved to Marina Sq. and was managed by Richard Ang. Apart from this important store, he distributed magic objects and units by way of shops

in Singapore and South East Asia.The Singapore viewers was additionally uncovered to world-class magic by way of a number of magic tv reveals and sequence that had been aired on native TV together with the David Copperfield specials, Magic Magic and The Better of Magic.

International magicians who visited Singapore throughout this time included David Copperfield, Mark Wilson, Ben Harris, Paul Daniels and Gene Anderson.


The start of this decade noticed the introduction of the nation’s third technology magicians into the native magic scene. Outstanding budding magicians included 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 native chapter of Worldwide Magicians Society was shaped, based by its President, Tan Bah Chee; though the membership’s presence in Singapore was short-lived.

The late-1990s noticed an enormous surge in magic international reputation because of David Blaine’s avenue magic specials. Many individuals began to ‘get into’ magic and had new mediums to be taught the craft such because the introduction of DVDs and the Web.

A brand new magic store, Magic Fortress & Promotions, opened up by Vijay Kumar at Shaw Towers quickly grew to become ‘the place to be’ the place new magicians would hang around and meet.

Throughout this decade, Wang Leng’s store in Peninsula Plaza was offered to Patrick Wan. The store was subsequently offered to Richard Ang and is now properly often known as Ang Home of Magic. Patrick Wan opened his new store, Magic Wand, which has spawned into a number of shops in varied elements of Singapore. Steven Sim additionally opened Magic Supreme at Coronation Plaza which has subsequently moved to Park Mall.

The 90s was an thrilling decade with many visits and performances by well-known magicians. Other than lectures by Michael & Hannah Ammar, Mark Leveridge and Wolfgang & Sonja Riebe there have been additionally public theatre performances by the Pendragons, Princess Tenko, Andre Kole, Franz Harary, David Copperfield, Rudy Coby and Robert Gallop. Different visiting magicians included Larry Becker, Tim Ellis, Terry Seabrooke, Phil Cass and Albert Tham.

2000 – Current

Magic has continued to flourish on the native degree on this decade. New alternatives and skills have emerged to raise the artwork in Singapore. In Could 2000, J C Sum staged the primary ever native full-evening theatre present ‘Magic on the Theatre’ at Victoria Theatre. Only a month later, greater than a dozen magicians from the US and Canada got here all the way down to Singapore as a part of the Magic Competition organized by the Malls of Centrepoint. Magicians reminiscent of Robert Baxt, Rocco and Peter Gossamer carried out a number of reveals at varied Centrepoint Malls for over per week.

In 2004, the Singapore Magic Circle (SMC) was created by Aloysius Yeo and with its on-line discussion board drew a brand new pool of magic fans collectively. SMC has since grown to over 1000 members and recurrently arrange gatherings, occasions in addition to the current Idea:Magic Micro MAGIC Conference in January 2007.

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

The multi-million greenback manufacturing has been staged many occasions over time the world over to unfold the phrase of Christ. Subsequently, the identical crew organized two Worldwide Competition of Magic conventions in 2003 & 2005. The primary of its form huge magic occasions included competitions, lectures, a sellers’ room and performances. Worldwide performers reminiscent of Jeff McBride, Max Maven, Johnny Thomspon, The Pendragons, Lee Eun Gyeol and Tommy Surprise had been booked to carry out on the gala reveals and lectures.

In recent times, J C Sum has turn out to be arguably essentially the most outstanding Singapore magician of this technology. His magic has been seen by tens of millions by way of his dwell performances throughout Asia in addition to his landmark mass media tasks on MediaCorp Studio’s Ch eight in addition to subsequent ‘Road Illusions’ compilation DVD/ VCD.

His 24-episode ‘Magic in Movement’ sequence can presently be seen day by day on Singapore Press Holdings MediaBoxOffice by way of 2007. Within the worldwide magic neighborhood, J C has additionally established himself as an elite phantasm designer from Asia with the publication of his three critically acclaimed phantasm books which have been offered in additional than 30 nations up to now.

One other gifted award-winning magician, Jeremy Pei, is elevating the profile of Singapore magic inside the regional magic neighborhood together with his theatre reveals, organized lectures, workshops and lively participation in magic conventions & competitions in Japan, Korea, China, Thailand and Australia. His distinctive North-Asian affect type of magic efficiency has garnered him a following with new budding magicians whom he teaches and guides. He has additionally launched a number of authentic magic merchandise which can be found to magicians worldwide.

In one other first, award-winning junior magician, Kyle Ravin secured a 13-episode weekly Road Magic sequence, “Maya” on MediaCorp Studios’ Vasantham Central. This 30min sequence noticed him carry out magic for the Indian neighborhood and celebrities throughout the nation.

This decade has seen the introduction of much more magic outlets and sellers run by younger magicians to fulfill the demand of magic fans and magicians. These embrace new ‘brick & mortar’ magic outlets reminiscent of Road Magic by Tan Wei Ping, Difficult Enterprise by Jimmy Wong, The Magic Corridor by Kenneth Peh in addition to on-line outlets like The Little Magic Store by Ning.

Visiting magicians to date for the brand new millennium have included Joshua Jay, Shoot Ogawa, Charles Gucci, Nicholas Einhorn.

And the Magic Historical past of Singapore continues to be written…

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