A Continuing Journey In The Magic Historical past Of Singapore

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

The commencing of Contemporary Magic in Singapore

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

Oen AKA The Wonderful Wong. Data on nearby magic pre-war is extremely scarce. The only information located has been on The Fantastic Wong executing at the New Entire world Amusement Park (then situated at Kitchener Highway) in the thirties.

The Excellent Wong was born in 1908 in Shanton, a town of the Guangdong Province, China and immigrated to Singapore in 1933. He was the only professional magician of his time in Singapore and carried out across South East Asia. He was identified for his sharp phase magic, Linking Rings regimen and Sword Basket illusion. He was also an professional craftsman who built all of his props by hand. He had the present of figuring out the mechanics and methodology of magic props and fabricating them from scratch.

In 1962, The Fantastic Wong manufactured a significant contribution to the global magic neighborhood by publishing his popular linking rings schedule 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 execute at the 15th Entire world Congree of Magic in Lausanne, Switzerland.

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

Another local magician who was instrumental in expanding modern magic in Singapore during the starting was the late-Tan Hock Chuan. He was a teacher by career but done for once-a-year special occasions, charity displays and private events. He was (and even now is) internationally known for his magical innovations. His results and tips are nevertheless marketed vendor products today and have been published in many publications (of that time) this sort of as Gen, Spinx, Pentagram, New Pentagram, Swami Mantra, Abracadabra and even Tarbell’s Course in Magic. He is the 1st Asian magician to obtain the Spinx Award (1936-37)

Each The Great Wong and Tan Hock Chuan have been crucial influences to a lot of of the very first generation of Singapore contemporary-magicians who have paved the way for foreseeable future generations.


It was only soon after the war and for the duration of the British Navy Administration that magic in Singapore started its increase to the place it is nowadays. 1950 was the year that the Singapore Magician’s Club was formed by a group of amateur magicians, comprising of English-educated professionals.

In 1951 the Singapore Magician’s Club obtained 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 customers of the club at that time incorporated 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 birth to Singapore’s first generation of modern day magicians. In addition to the founding associates of the IBM Ring and The Fantastic Wong (who joined the Ring in 1952 by invitation), some prominent 1st era magicians incorporated Lim Hap Hin, Tan Choon Tee, Tan Bah Chee, Yeo Soon Kian and his pupil Michael Lim.

The Wonderful Wong operated the very first magic shop from his property cum showroom/ workshop in Singapore at 255-A Jalan Besar exactly where he sold his own handcrafted props as properly as imported supplier items from Japan. (This home/ shop was destroyed in a fire in Dec 1988 causing him to drop most of his textbooks and props)

nineteen sixties

Throughout this time period, magicians like The Great Wong, Tan Bah Chee, Lim Hap Hin and Tan Choon Tee performed magic programs at the Nationwide Theatre Club and the YMCA. They were accountable for creating lively magicians these kinds of as Charles Choo, Wong Fok Choy, Chia Hearn Jiang, Gwee Thiam Hock and the late-Vijeyacone.

The early 60s also noticed the ‘Golden Age’ of magic with magicians carrying out at distinct venues across the place. Aside from regional magicians carrying out in evening golf equipment, foreign magicians this kind of as Socar executed a grand illusion display to a total home at the Capitol Theatre (along Stamford Highway) and The Excellent Nicholas at the Sky Theater in The Wonderful Planet Amusement Park at Kim Seng Road (Now, Excellent World Town).

In the late 60s, Wee Peng Guan (Uncle of Charles Choo), opened the 2nd magic store in Singapore at a store house together Robinson Road. Around 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. ( Dark magic removal stands at present).

In the course of this decade, Tan Choon Tee was producing a name for himself in the intercontinental magic neighborhood in the discipline of Mentalism. He received several global Linking Ring Awards for his 1-Male Parades and has two guides revealed by Micky Hades. He was also a standard contributor to several international magic magazines such as Gen, New Pentagram, Magicgram, Magicana and The Linking Ring.

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


The seventies noticed the beginning of the 2nd technology of Singapore magicians. Some nicely-known magicians who obtained started out throughout this time provided The Wonderful Wong’s son Ng Kee Chee, John Teo, Tang Sai Thong, Ng Seow Kiat, Tang Yeng Entertaining, 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 notable founding members such as Lim Hap Hin, Tan Hock Chuan and Charles Choo.

Magic shops in Singapore started 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 6th floor of Much East Buying Centre. (It would move a number of times to numerous malls but sooner or later returned again to Much East). His store would shortly turn out to be an establishment in which magicians would get numerous magic products as effectively as meet up with up and discover from each and every other.

It was a selection haunt for several magicians in the many years to come till the shop closed in the new millennium.

During this period of time, The Tropicana Night time Club, which was positioned at Pacific Plaza, was a venue that had regular magic performances. A number of popular magicians also visited Singapore in the 70s. In 1970, John Calvert done at the National Theatre. In 1972, Albert Goshman visited Ring 115 to give a lecture. In that exact same 12 months, “The Professor” Dai Vernon also frequented Singapore, lectured and interacted with nearby magicians. Other visiting magicians integrated Andre Kole, Billy McComb, and Ali Bongo.


By the eighties, the local magic scene was flourishing with wholesome memberships for the two major magic clubs as well as a surge in the quantity of doing magicians. Several of today’s veterans made their identify in the 80s. Familiar names like Richard Ang, Patrick Wan, Patrick Ng Wang Lin, Tan Hai Yan AKA Gician, Paul Koh, AB Francis and Gordon Koh ended up carrying out regularly at general public and private shows during this ten years. Well-known neighborhood venues for public magic displays by magic clubs held on a typical basis at that time provided the Drama Centre and the Nationwide Museum Theatrette.

The acceptance of magic outlets also grew and in 1982, Chew Kin Song opened a Magic & Novelty Corner at the Chinese Guide Segment of Well-known E-book Co Pte Ltd on the 4th Ground of Bras Basah Complicated. Gician Tan also opened up his very first magic store at Parkway Parade which subsequently moved to Marina Square and was managed by Richard Ang. In addition to this principal shop, he distributed magic products and sets by means of office stores

in Singapore and South East Asia.The Singapore audience was also uncovered to entire world-course magic through numerous magic tv displays and sequence that were aired on local Tv set including the David Copperfield specials, Magic Magic and The Best of Magic.

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


The commencing of this 10 years observed the introduction of the country’s 3rd era magicians into the local magic scene. Prominent 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 regional chapter of Intercontinental Magicians Modern society was shaped, established by its President, Tan Bah Chee even though the club’s existence in Singapore was brief-lived.

The late-1990s noticed a large surge in magic world-wide recognition because of to David Blaine’s avenue magic specials. A lot of men and women started out to ‘get into’ magic and experienced new mediums to understand the craft such as the introduction of DVDs and the Net.

A new magic store, Magic Castle & Promotions, opened up by Vijay Kumar at Shaw Towers shortly grew to become ‘the place to be’ the place new magicians would hang out and fulfill.

For the duration of this decade, Wang Leng’s shop in Peninsula Plaza was bought to Patrick Wan. The shop was subsequently sold to Richard Ang and is now properly recognized as Ang House of Magic. Patrick Wan opened his new store, Magic Wand, which has spawned into a number of outlets in a variety of areas of Singapore. Steven Sim also opened Magic Supreme at Coronation Plaza which has subsequently moved to Park Shopping mall.

The 90s was an fascinating ten years with numerous visits and performances by famous magicians. Aside 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 browsing magicians integrated Larry Becker, Tim Ellis, Terry Seabrooke, Phil Cass and Albert Tham.

2000 – Current

Magic has ongoing to flourish at the nearby degree in this ten years. New options and skills have emerged to elevate the artwork in Singapore. In Might 2000, J C Sum staged the initial ever regional complete-evening theatre demonstrate ‘Magic at the Theatre’ at Victoria Theatre. Just a thirty day period later, more than a dozen magicians from the US and Canada arrived down to Singapore as component of the Magic Pageant structured by the Malls of Centrepoint. Magicians this sort of as Robert Baxt, Rocco and Peter Gossamer performed several exhibits at numerous Centrepoint Malls for in excess of a 7 days.

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 fanatics collectively. SMC has because developed to above a thousand users and frequently organize gatherings, activities as effectively as the recent Concept:Magic Micro MAGIC Convention in January 2007.

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

The multi-million dollar manufacturing has been staged a lot of moments over the several years across the globe to spread the phrase of Christ. Subsequently, the exact same team structured two Worldwide Pageant of Magic conventions in 2003 & 2005. The 1st of its type large magic functions included competitions, lectures, a dealers’ room and performances. International performers this kind of as Jeff McBride, Max Maven, Johnny Thomspon, The Pendragons, Lee Eun Gyeol and Tommy Wonder had been booked to carry out at the gala shows and lectures.

In current a long time, J C Sum has turn out to be arguably the most prominent Singapore magician of this era. His magic has been observed by thousands and thousands via his stay performances across Asia as well as his landmark mass media initiatives on MediaCorp Studio’s Ch 8 as properly as subsequent ‘Street Illusions’ compilation DVD/ VCD.

His 24-episode ‘Magic in Motion’ sequence can at present be seen everyday on Singapore Push Holdings MediaBoxOffice through 2007. In the worldwide magic neighborhood, J C has also recognized himself as an elite illusion designer from Asia with the publication of his 3 critically acclaimed illusion guides that have been sold in a lot more than thirty international locations to day.

Another gifted award-profitable magician, Jeremy Pei, is increasing the profile of Singapore magic within the regional magic local community with his theatre displays, arranged lectures, workshops and energetic participation in magic conventions & competitions in Japan, Korea, China, Thailand and Australia. His exclusive North-Asian impact type of magic functionality has garnered him a subsequent with new budding magicians whom he teaches and guides. He has also released a number of first magic items which are accessible to magicians throughout the world.

In an additional first, award-profitable junior magician, Kyle Ravin secured a thirteen-episode weekly Avenue Magic sequence, “Maya” on MediaCorp Studios’ Vasantham Central. This 30min collection observed him execute magic for the Indian local community and famous people across the place.

This 10 years has witnessed the introduction of even much more magic retailers and dealers run by youthful magicians to meet the demand of magic enthusiasts and magicians. These include new ‘brick & mortar’ magic outlets this sort of as Avenue Magic by Tan Wei Ping, Difficult Business by Jimmy Wong, The Magic Hall by Kenneth Peh as properly as on-line stores like The Tiny Magic Shop by Ning.