A Continuing Journey In The Magic Heritage Of Singapore

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

The starting of Modern Magic in Singapore

It is the general consensus that modern day magic in Singapore (submit Globe War 2) commenced with the late-Ng Bo

Oen AKA The Great Wong. Info on nearby magic pre-war is really scarce. The only data found has been on The Fantastic Wong executing at the New Planet Amusement Park (then located at Kitchener Highway) in the 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 specialist magician of his time in Singapore and executed throughout South East Asia. He was recognized for his sharp stage magic, Linking Rings regimen and Sword Basket illusion. He was also an specialist 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 Great Wong produced a substantial contribution to the intercontinental magic local community by publishing his famous linking rings regimen 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 15th Entire world Congree of Magic in Lausanne, Switzerland.

(For far more info on The Great Wong refer to ‘The Excellent Wong Story’ in The Global Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring 115 The Quantum Ring Golden Jubilee Situation)

Another local magician who was instrumental in expanding modern day magic in Singapore for the duration of the commencing was the late-Tan Hock Chuan. He was a trainer by job but done for once-a-year unique occasions, charity demonstrates and personal events. He was (and nonetheless is) internationally identified for his magical inventions. His effects and ideas are nonetheless marketed dealer objects nowadays and have been revealed in countless publications (of that time) this kind of as Gen, Spinx, Pentagram, New Pentagram, Swami Mantra, Abracadabra and even Tarbell’s Course in Magic. He is the initial Asian magician to acquire the Spinx Award (1936-37)

The two The Fantastic Wong and Tan Hock Chuan ended up critical influences to a lot of of the first generation of Singapore contemporary-magicians who have paved the way for potential generations.

nineteen fifties

It was only soon after the war and during the British Army Administration that magic in Singapore commenced its increase to where it is nowadays. 1950 was the yr that the Singapore Magician’s Club was fashioned by a group of novice magicians, comprising of English-educated experts.

In 1951 the Singapore Magician’s Club gained their constitution from The Global Brotherhood of Magicians HQ in The us and was from then on was officially 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 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 birth to Singapore’s 1st generation of modern magicians. In addition to the founding users of the IBM Ring and The Fantastic Wong (who joined the Ring in 1952 by invitation), some well known 1st technology magicians incorporated Lim Hap Hin, Tan Choon Tee, Tan Bah Chee, Yeo Soon Kian and his college student Michael Lim.

The Wonderful Wong operated the 1st magic store from his residence cum showroom/ workshop in Singapore at 255-A Jalan Besar in which he sold his very own handcrafted props as nicely as imported seller items from Japan. (This residence/ store was destroyed in a fireplace in Dec 1988 leading to him to drop most of his books and props)

nineteen sixties

In the course of this time period, magicians like The Wonderful Wong, Tan Bah Chee, Lim Hap Hin and Tan Choon Tee conducted magic courses at the Nationwide Theatre Club and the YMCA. They have been liable for producing 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 saw the ‘Golden Age’ of magic with magicians doing at distinct venues throughout the region. Apart from neighborhood magicians performing in evening golf equipment, foreign magicians this kind of as Socar performed a grand illusion display to a full home at the Capitol Theatre (together Stamford Street) and The Wonderful Nicholas at the Sky Theater in The Fantastic Globe Amusement Park at Kim Seng Road (Now, Wonderful Planet City).

In the late 60s, Wee Peng Guan (Uncle of Charles Choo), opened the 2nd magic store in Singapore at a shop house alongside Robinson Street. 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. (in which Carlton Hotel stands currently).

In the course of this ten years, Tan Choon Tee was generating a identify for himself in the international magic group in the discipline of Mentalism. He received several worldwide Linking Ring Awards for his One particular-Gentleman Parades and has two guides published by Micky Hades. He was also a standard contributor to numerous international magic journals this sort of as Gen, New Pentagram, Magicgram, Magicana and The Linking Ring.

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


The 1970s noticed the delivery of the second era of Singapore magicians. Some properly-known magicians who got commenced in the course of this time integrated The Wonderful 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 Association of Magicians was launched on ten March 1973 in friendly ‘rivalry’ to the IBM Ring. The club was led by Tan Bah Chee with distinguished founding users these kinds of as Lim Hap Hin, Tan Hock Chuan and Charles Choo.

Magic stores in Singapore began to spring up in the course of 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 shop in August 1978 on the sixth flooring of Significantly East Searching Centre. (It would transfer numerous times to numerous malls but ultimately returned back to Much East). His store would quickly grow to be an institution exactly where magicians would get various magic goods as nicely as meet up and understand from every other.

It was a selection haunt for several magicians in the several years to occur till the shop shut in the new millennium.

During this time period, The Tropicana Night Club, which was situated at Pacific Plaza, was a location that had normal magic performances. Numerous well-known magicians also frequented Singapore in the 70s. In 1970, John Calvert performed at the Nationwide Theatre. In 1972, Albert Goshman visited Ring one hundred fifteen to give a lecture. In that exact 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 healthful memberships for the two principal magic clubs as properly as a surge in the amount of carrying out magicians. Several of present-day veterans produced 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 have been performing frequently at general public and personal shows during this 10 years. Common local venues for general public magic demonstrates by magic clubs held on a typical foundation at that time incorporated the Drama Centre and the Countrywide Museum Theatrette.

The reputation of magic outlets also grew and in 1982, Chew Kin Track opened a Magic & Novelty Corner at the Chinese Guide Section of Well-known Guide Co Pte Ltd on the 4th Floor of Bras Basah Complicated. Gician Tan also opened up his very first magic shop at Parkway Parade which subsequently moved to Marina Square and was managed by Richard Ang. Apart from this primary shop, he distributed magic items and sets through section merchants

in Singapore and South East Asia.The Singapore audience was also uncovered to planet-course magic by means of numerous magic tv exhibits and series that have been aired on nearby Tv which includes the David Copperfield specials, Magic Magic and The Very best of Magic.

Overseas magicians who visited Singapore during this time provided 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 local magic scene. Distinguished 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.

manifestation magic alexander review of Intercontinental Magicians Culture was formed, launched by its President, Tan Bah Chee although the club’s presence in Singapore was quick-lived.

The late-nineteen nineties observed a enormous surge in magic world-wide popularity thanks to David Blaine’s road magic specials. A lot of people commenced to ‘get into’ magic and experienced new mediums to find out the craft this sort of as the introduction of DVDs and the Internet.

A new magic store, Magic Castle & Promotions, opened up by Vijay Kumar at Shaw Towers shortly grew to become ‘the area to be’ in which new magicians would hold out and satisfy.

During this ten years, Wang Leng’s shop in Peninsula Plaza was bought to Patrick Wan. The store was subsequently sold to Richard Ang and is now nicely acknowledged as Ang Home of Magic. Patrick Wan opened his new store, Magic Wand, which has spawned into several shops in different elements of Singapore. Steven Sim also opened Magic Supreme at Coronation Plaza which has subsequently moved to Park Mall.

The 90s was an interesting 10 years with numerous visits and performances by famous magicians. Apart from lectures by Michael & Hannah Ammar, Mark Leveridge and Wolfgang & Sonja Riebe there ended up also public theatre performances by the Pendragons, Princess Tenko, Andre Kole, Franz Harary, David Copperfield, Rudy Coby and Robert Gallop. Other going to magicians included Larry Becker, Tim Ellis, Terry Seabrooke, Phil Cass and Albert Tham.

2000 – Existing

Magic has continued to prosper at the local degree in this ten years. New possibilities and abilities have emerged to elevate the art in Singapore. In Might 2000, J C Sum staged the initial at any time nearby total-evening theatre display ‘Magic at the Theatre’ at Victoria Theatre. Just a month later on, more than a dozen magicians from the US and Canada came down to Singapore as part of the Magic Festival organized by the Malls of Centrepoint. Magicians these kinds of as Robert Baxt, Rocco and Peter Gossamer done a number of displays at a variety of Centrepoint Malls for over a week.

In 2004, the Singapore Magic Circle (SMC) was produced by Aloysius Yeo and with its on-line discussion board drew a new pool of magic fans with each other. SMC has because grown to in excess of a thousand users and routinely manage gatherings, functions as well as the recent Concept:Magic Micro MAGIC Conference in January 2007.

By means of a massive-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 greenback manufacturing has been staged several instances over the years across the world to distribute the phrase of Christ. Subsequently, the very same group arranged two International Competition of Magic conventions in 2003 & 2005. The first of its variety big magic occasions provided competitions, lectures, a dealers’ space and performances. Global performers such as Jeff McBride, Max Maven, Johnny Thomspon, The Pendragons, Lee Eun Gyeol and Tommy Surprise have been booked to carry out at the gala demonstrates and lectures.

In latest many years, J C Sum has turn out to be arguably the most distinguished Singapore magician of this era. His magic has been witnessed by millions through his dwell performances across Asia as well as his landmark mass media projects on MediaCorp Studio’s Ch eight as effectively as subsequent ‘Street Illusions’ compilation DVD/ VCD.

His 24-episode ‘Magic in Motion’ collection can at the moment be witnessed day-to-day on Singapore Push Holdings MediaBoxOffice by way of 2007. In the international magic neighborhood, J C has also set up himself as an elite illusion designer from Asia with the publication of his three critically acclaimed illusion books that have been offered in more than thirty nations to date.

An additional proficient award-profitable magician, Jeremy Pei, is increasing the profile of Singapore magic inside of the regional magic group with his theatre shows, structured lectures, workshops and energetic participation in magic conventions & competitions in Japan, Korea, China, Thailand and Australia. His exclusive North-Asian influence design of magic efficiency has garnered him a pursuing with new budding magicians whom he teaches and guides. He has also unveiled multiple original magic items which are offered to magicians throughout the world.

In one more 1st, award-winning junior magician, Kyle Ravin secured a thirteen-episode weekly Street Magic series, “Maya” on MediaCorp Studios’ Vasantham Central. This 30min collection noticed him complete magic for the Indian neighborhood and famous people across the nation.

This decade has witnessed the introduction of even more magic shops and dealers run by young magicians to satisfy the need of magic fanatics and magicians. These incorporate new ‘brick & mortar’ magic retailers this kind of as Road Magic by Tan Wei Ping, Tough Company by Jimmy Wong, The Magic Hall by Kenneth Peh as nicely as on-line stores like The Little Magic Store by Ning.