Arts

Singapore magicians take their stunts to the next level - literally

Singapore magicians take their stunts to the next level - literally
J C Sum and Magic Babe Ning will perform at the Night Festival on Friday and Saturday.
The award-winning J C Sum and Magic Babe Ning are proud to put Singapore on the world magic map
Published: 4:03 AM, August 30, 2013
Updated: 4:00 PM, August 30, 2013
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SINGAPORE — There’s something magical about this year’s Night Festival. And yes, we mean that literally. Singapore’s premier magician duo, J C Sum and Magic Babe Ning were tasked to come up with something spectacular for this year’s edition - a feat that are meant to stun audiences.

In typical form, they have come up with two “mega stunts” instead. On Friday night, they will stage The Water Vault, in which Ning performs a Houdini-esque underwater escape in less than two minutes; and on Saturday night, the pair attempts Ultimate Inversion, the world’s first tandem upside down strait jacket escape, suspended from a burning rope some 50 feet above the ground.

“The most challenging bit (is) creating a spectacular mega stunt worthy of closing this year’s Singapore Night Festival and not die in the process - because that would be pretty inconvenient,” quipped Ning. “In this case, it was twice as difficult since we had to come up with two exciting stunts, one underwater and one 50 feet in the air.”

And yes, there is the pressure to perform as well, not least because the pair is expected to receive an award for “outstanding achievement and contribution to magic” this weekend. They will also be travelling throughout Asia with their illusion show, and they’re in the midst of working on their “top secret TV project”.

“Yes, there is an expectation from fans, clients and even the international magic community to outdo ourselves each time,” said Sum. “But, we are our biggest critics and put pressure on ourselves to create new acts or stunts never been done in the world before.”

“Awards are a form of recognition, however, we never let it get to our heads and we don’t do what we do for awards,” asserted Ning. “We’re really much more practical: We do it for the money - I mean, art.”

You guys recently curated a “history of magic” exhibition for the National Heritage Festival, featuring acts by Singapore magicians of the past, but what do you think of the future of Singapore magic?

J C: There is a lot of potential with the next generation of magicians but they really need to be innovative and create original acts instead of doing what others are already doing. They also need to work on their personality brand beyond their technical magic skills.

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