A Continuing Journey In The Magic History Of Singapore


This report is to introduce magicians and magic fanatics to the prosperous historical past of magic in Singapore. It honours the notable achievements, prominence and importance of regional magicians from the past and existing.

The starting of Modern Magic in Singapore

It is the standard consensus that modern day magic in Singapore (publish Globe War two) commenced with the late-Ng Bo

Oen AKA The Excellent Wong. Data on local magic pre-war is very scarce. The only data found has been on The Great Wong executing at the New Entire world Amusement Park (then situated at Kitchener Road) in the nineteen thirties.

The Excellent Wong was born in 1908 in Shanton, a metropolis of the Guangdong Province, China and immigrated to Singapore in 1933. He was the only specialist magician of his time in Singapore and performed throughout South East Asia. He was recognized for his sharp phase magic, Linking Rings routine and Sword Basket illusion. He was also an expert craftsman who built 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 Excellent Wong created a important contribution to the intercontinental magic local community by publishing his well-known linking rings schedule with English script created by Tudor Brock. Davenports Magic in London distributes his manuscript to date. In 1982, he was invited by the Federation Internationale des Societes Magiques (FISM) to carry out at the fifteenth Entire world Congree of Magic in Lausanne, Switzerland.

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

Yet another local magician who was instrumental in growing contemporary magic in Singapore for the duration of the beginning was the late-Tan Hock Chuan. He was a instructor by occupation but executed for once-a-year specific occasions, charity displays and non-public events. He was (and still is) internationally recognized for his magical innovations. His effects and concepts are nevertheless promoted dealer products today and have been revealed in countless publications (of that time) such as Gen, Spinx, Pentagram, New Pentagram, Swami Mantra, Abracadabra and even Tarbell’s Course in Magic. He is the 1st Asian magician to receive the Spinx Award (1936-37)

Equally The Wonderful Wong and Tan Hock Chuan had been critical influences to several of the very first technology of Singapore modern day-magicians who have paved the way for long term generations.


It was only right after the war and in the course of the British Navy Administration that magic in Singapore began its increase to the place it is these days. 1950 was the year that the Singapore Magician’s Club was formed by a group of novice magicians, comprising of English-educated experts.

In 1951 the Singapore Magician’s Club gained their charter from The Intercontinental Brotherhood of Magicians HQ in America and was from then on was officially identified as The Intercontinental Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring 115. Founding associates of the club at that time provided Tan Ewe Chee (President), Yeo Shortly 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. Apart from the founding users of the IBM Ring and The Wonderful Wong (who joined the Ring in 1952 by invitation), some distinguished very first generation magicians provided Lim Hap Hin, Tan Choon Tee, Tan Bah Chee, Yeo Shortly Kian and his college student Michael Lim.

The Fantastic Wong operated the 1st magic store from his residence cum showroom/ workshop in Singapore at 255-A Jalan Besar the place he offered his personal handcrafted props as nicely as imported supplier items from Japan. (This home/ shop was ruined in a hearth in Dec 1988 triggering him to shed most of his guides and props)


Throughout this interval, magicians like The Great Wong, Tan Bah Chee, Lim Hap Hin and Tan Choon Tee executed magic programs at the Nationwide Theatre Club and the YMCA. They have been accountable for generating active magicians such 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 various venues across the country. Aside from local magicians executing in night time clubs, overseas magicians this kind of as Socar performed a grand illusion present to a entire home at the Capitol Theatre (along Stamford Road) and The Great Nicholas at the Sky Theater in The Wonderful Planet Amusement Park at Kim Seng Road (Now, Great Globe Metropolis).

In the late 60s, Wee Peng Guan (Uncle of Charles Choo), opened the second magic store in Singapore at a shop property together Robinson Highway. Close to that time, well-known 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 Resort stands presently).

In the course of this decade, Tan Choon Tee was creating a title for himself in the global magic community in the discipline of Mentalism. He gained a number of intercontinental Linking Ring Awards for his 1-Gentleman Parades and has two books published by Micky Hades. He was also a standard contributor to many worldwide magic journals this kind of as Gen, New Pentagram, Magicgram, Magicana and The Linking Ring.

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

nineteen seventies

The nineteen seventies noticed the delivery of the next era of Singapore magicians. Some well-recognized magicians who acquired began in the course of this time integrated The Excellent 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 Affiliation 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 associates this sort of as Lim Hap Hin, Tan Hock Chuan and Charles Choo.

Magic shops in Singapore began to spring up throughout the late seventies. Ng Kee Chee set 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 sixth ground of Far East Buying Centre. (It would move several instances to different malls but ultimately returned again to Considerably East). His store would before long grow to be an establishment where magicians would buy numerous magic goods as nicely as meet up with up and find out from each and every other.

It was a variety haunt for several magicians in the several years to come till the store shut in the new millennium.

Throughout this interval, The Tropicana Night Club, which was positioned at Pacific Plaza, was a location that experienced normal magic performances. Many well-known magicians also visited Singapore in the 70s. In 1970, John Calvert carried out at the Nationwide Theatre. In 1972, Albert Goshman visited Ring a hundred and fifteen to give a lecture. In that same 12 months, “The Professor” Dai Vernon also visited Singapore, lectured and interacted with nearby magicians. Other visiting magicians incorporated Andre Kole, Billy McComb, and Ali Bongo.


By the nineteen eighties, the nearby magic scene was flourishing with healthier memberships for the two primary magic golf equipment as effectively as a surge in the amount of executing magicians. Numerous of today’s veterans manufactured their name 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 have been executing regularly at public and personal displays during this ten years. Well-liked local venues for general public magic demonstrates by magic golf equipment held on a typical foundation at that time provided the Drama Centre and the Countrywide Museum Theatrette.

The acceptance of magic shops also grew and in 1982, Chew Kin Tune opened a Magic & Novelty Corner at the Chinese Guide Part of Popular Book Co Pte Ltd on the 4th Flooring of Bras Basah Complicated. Gician Tan also opened up his very first magic shop at Parkway Parade which subsequently moved to Marina Sq. and was managed by Richard Ang. Aside from this principal shop, he dispersed magic objects and sets by means of department merchants

in Singapore and South East Asia.The Singapore viewers was also exposed to world-course magic via many magic tv shows and collection that have been aired on regional Tv like the David Copperfield specials, Magic Magic and The Best of Magic.

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


The beginning of this 10 years noticed the introduction of the country’s 3rd generation magicians into the regional magic scene. Well known 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 nearby chapter of International Magicians Culture was fashioned, started by its President, Tan Bah Chee though the club’s existence in Singapore was short-lived.

The late-1990s saw a huge surge in magic world-wide popularity due to David Blaine’s street magic specials. Numerous folks began to ‘get into’ magic and had new mediums to find out the craft these kinds of as the introduction of DVDs and the Internet.

A new magic shop, Magic Castle & Promotions, opened up by Vijay Kumar at Shaw Towers quickly became ‘the area to be’ exactly where new magicians would dangle out and satisfy.

In the course of this 10 years, Wang Leng’s store in Peninsula Plaza was bought to Patrick Wan. The store was subsequently sold to Richard Ang and is now properly known as Ang Residence of Magic. Patrick Wan opened his new shop, Magic Wand, which has spawned into numerous retailers in a variety of components of Singapore. Steven Sim also opened Magic Supreme at Coronation Plaza which has subsequently moved to Park Shopping mall.

The 90s was an thrilling ten years with a lot of visits and performances by famous magicians. Apart from lectures by Michael & Hannah Ammar, Mark Leveridge and Wolfgang & Sonja Riebe there were also general public theatre performances by the Pendragons, Princess Tenko, Andre Kole, Franz Harary, David Copperfield, Rudy Coby and Robert Gallop. Other browsing magicians incorporated Larry Becker, Tim Ellis, Terry Seabrooke, Phil Cass and Albert Tham.

2000 – Present

Magic has continued to flourish at the neighborhood degree in this decade. New options and skills have emerged to elevate the artwork in Singapore. In Might 2000, J C Sum staged the 1st at any time local full-evening theatre show ‘Magic at the Theatre’ at Victoria Theatre. Just a month afterwards, more than a dozen magicians from the US and Canada arrived down to Singapore as component of the Magic Competition organized by the Malls of Centrepoint. Magicians such as Robert Baxt, Rocco and Peter Gossamer carried out several shows at a variety of Centrepoint Malls for above a 7 days.

In 2004, the Singapore Magic Circle (SMC) was created by Aloysius Yeo and with its on-line forum drew a new pool of magic lovers with each other. SMC has considering that developed to over 1000 customers and often arrange gatherings, functions as well as the modern Notion:Magic Micro MAGIC Convention in January 2007.

Via a large-scale theatre magic musical ‘Magic of Love’, Lawrence Khong, a pastor with Faith Community Baptist Church and his daughter Pricilla, spread the gospel message.

The multi-million greenback creation has been staged many instances above the years throughout the planet to distribute the term of Christ. Subsequently, the identical team structured two International Competition of Magic conventions in 2003 & 2005. The initial of its variety huge magic events included competitions, lectures, a dealers’ area and performances. Worldwide performers such as Jeff McBride, Max Maven, Johnny Thomspon, The Pendragons, Lee Eun Gyeol and Tommy Surprise have been booked to execute at the gala demonstrates and lectures.

In latest a long time, J C Sum has grow to be arguably the most notable Singapore magician of this technology. His magic has been seen by millions via his dwell performances across Asia as well as his landmark mass media initiatives on MediaCorp Studio’s Ch 8 as nicely as subsequent ‘Street Illusions’ compilation DVD/ VCD.

His 24-episode ‘Magic in Motion’ series can at present be noticed every day on Singapore Push Holdings MediaBoxOffice through 2007. In the global magic neighborhood, 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 much more than thirty countries to date.

One more proficient award-winning magician, Jeremy Pei, is boosting the profile of Singapore magic inside the regional magic community with his theatre shows, organized lectures, workshops and lively participation in magic conventions & competitions in Japan, Korea, China, Thailand and Australia. champignon psychédélique -Asian impact type of magic overall performance has garnered him a adhering to with new budding magicians whom he teaches and guides. He has also unveiled several unique magic items which are offered to magicians worldwide.

In another 1st, award-profitable junior magician, Kyle Ravin secured a thirteen-episode weekly Street Magic sequence, “Maya” on MediaCorp Studios’ Vasantham Central. This 30min collection saw him execute magic for the Indian local community and superstars across the place.

This ten years has observed the introduction of even a lot more magic stores and dealers operate by young magicians to meet up with the demand of magic lovers and magicians. These incorporate new ‘brick & mortar’ magic retailers this kind of as Road Magic by Tan Wei Ping, Tricky Business by Jimmy Wong, The Magic Hall by Kenneth Peh as effectively as on-line shops like The Little Magic Shop by Ning.

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