J C Sum

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J C Sum
J C Sum (Sum Jan-chung)

5 December 1976 (1976-12-05) (age 42)
OccupationIllusionist, Illusion designer, Creative Entrepreneur

J C Sum (Sum Jan-chung) is a Singaporean illusionist, illusion designer and creative entrepreneur. Nicknamed "The Thinking Man's Magician", J C is one of the most highly regarded illusionists and illusion designers from Asia. AsiaOne named him as "one of the most celebrated illusionists in Asia"[1] and MagicSeen called him "The Ace in Asia".[2] The Straits Times stated that he is "Singapore's most famous magician"[3] and The Business Times Singapore, credited him for bringing "magic to the mainstream market in Asia".[4]

J C has been credited for popularising magic in Singapore by the local media and magic organizations.[5]

Magic career[edit]

Early career[edit]

J C studied at Victoria School and Victoria Junior College.

J C first found his interest in magic at a very young age of 12 years and began performing professionally at the age of 16.[1] In 1993, J C joined the International Brotherhood of Magicians, Singapore Ring 115 and took part in the 1994 Close-up Competition where he took 2nd Place with an original Cups and balls routine. He subsequently won the 'Most Entertaining Magician' title at the 1996 IBM Ring 115 Close-up Magic Competition.[6][7]

In 1998, his "One-Man-Parade" was published in the March issue of The Linking Ring, the official publication of the International Brotherhood of Magicians. This collection of original magic effects earned him two coveted Linking Ring Awards the next year.

Throughout his junior college school days and time in national service in the Army, J C performed shows and was also booked to perform close-up magic weekly at various hotels & restaurants such as Shangri-la, Hilton, Four Seasons, Tony Romas and Lion City Hotel.[1][6][7][8] After national service, he was admitted to the National University of Singapore where he majored in English Language & Sociology, with a minor in Philosophy. He gave up a 4th year honors degree to pursue magic full-time.[9]

His early influences in magic include David Copperfield, Dai Vernon, John Carney, David Williamson, Darwin Ortiz, Paul Harris, Wayne Dobson, Jim Steinmeyer, Lance Burton, The Pendragons, Franz Harary, Frank Garcia, Michael Ammar, Richard Ang, Tang Sai Thong, Michael Lim and Pastor Lawrence Khong.[2][6][7][10][11]

By the new millennium, J C was performing illusion shows for corporate & special events across Asia.[12][13][14][15]

Television & Broadcast Media Projects[edit]

J C's first television break came in the 2004 President's Star Charity where he performed a series of illusions including his 'Crystal Striptease' illusion with former radio personality Jamie Yeo (now with ESPN Sports Asia), a personalized card routine of the President of Singapore, S.R. Nathan, and finally making a car appear along with Singapore sports Olympians. Together with a host of local celebrities, the show raised S$2.83 mil for various beneficiaries.[16][17][18][19][20][21]

In 2006, J C starred in Singapore's first street magic television series, as part of Jack Neo's popular Top Fun variety show for Channel 8, MediaCorp Studios. The series was created specifically for J C by MediaCorp Studios.[11][15] The segments were subsequently compiled and released as a VCD/ DVD titled Street Illusions, distributed by TS Group in Singapore and Malaysia. The same year, he also appeared in 3 episodes of a variety television show performing street magic for the Shanghai Oriental Television Station, China.[2]

In 2007, J C starred in Magic in Motion, a 24-part Street Magic series produced for Singapore Press Holdings' MediaBoxOffice (SPHMBO).[3][6][22]

From 2009 – 2012, J C, together with 'Magic Babe' Ning appeared on several television shows around the world including: Channel 8's "Five Stars Carnival",[23] "Asia Uncut",[24] AXN EBuzz,[25] Sony Style TV Magazine, The Amazing Race Asia 4, "Duel Mahakarya Magician" on RCTI, Indonesia TV,[26][27] Le Plus Grand Cabaret du Monde in Paris, France (2011 & 2012),[28] Itte-Q![29] and Italian TV, La Grande Magia.[30]

Mega Illusion & Stunts[edit]

On 18 August 2007, J C successfully presented the largest single live illusion ever staged in South East Asia,[31] "The Impossible Teleportation" Mega Illusion.[6] He teleported himself in 5 seconds, from street level while surrounded by more than 9000 spectators and reappeared on the roof of a skyscraper, 50 floors above, within a ring of witnesses. The Mega Illusion was staged at Raffles Place, the heart of the business district in Singapore.[31][32][33][34][35][36]

Since then, J C has designed and staged a wide variety of mega illusions and stunts including teleporting 3 people across the iconic Singapore River in 2.5 seconds.,[6][10][37][38][39][40][41][42][43][44][45][46] performing 15 grand illusions in 5 minutes.,[25][47][48][49][50][51][52][53] teleporting a Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI from the Volkswagen showroom to the stage in 8.5 seconds,[54][55] predicting the Singapore 4D lottery,[56][57][58] making five audience vanish while they were elevated 24 ft (7 m) high up in the air,[59][60][61] reading the minds of 100 random people in under 60 minutes[62][63][64][65] and performing a tandem straitjacket escape suspended upside 75 ft in the air from a burning rope.[66][67][67][68]

J C's next mega illusions include the teleportation of a large inanimate object,[47][48] reading the minds of 1000 people, vanishing a train[4][10] and an illusion that will showcase Singapore's racial harmony.[38] He was in talks with Sentosa years ago to make the Merlion tower vanish but the project got canceled due to the SARS outbreak.[10]

Live Shows[edit]

J C performed his first show in 1993 for a children's party. Since then J C has performed around the world as a stage magician and illusionist for corporate & special events, showrooms and luxury cruise liners.[69]

From 2007 – 2013, J C performed with 'Magic Babe' Ning in notable projects such as "Ultimate Magic", Singapore's first permanent illusion show from 2008 - 2009.[6][8][10][40][70][71][72][73]

J C's new technology digital magic act, the "iFrame" was officially launched in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 23 Mar 2016 to corporate clients, event planners and media. The original creation took three years to conceptualize and design, and one additional year to build and rehearse.[74][75][76]

In 2016, J C will perform on Asia's newest and largest cruise liner, Royal Caribbean Cruise Liners', "Ovation of the Seas" as the resident headline entertainer from June to November 2016.[77]

Achievements and awards[edit]

J C has achieved several records and awarded numerous awards including:

  • "Outstanding Achievement & Contribution to Magic" Award (2013), International Brotherhood of Magicians, Singapore Ring 115[67]
  • "First Tandem Suspended Upside Down Strait Jacket Escape" (2013), Singapore Book of Records[67]
  • "Patrons of Magic" Award (2012), International Brotherhood of Magicians, Singapore Ring 115[64]
  • "Largest Mind Reading Feat: 100 Minds in 60 Minutes" (2012) Singapore Book of Records[64]
  • "Special Recognition Award for Contributions to the Arts & Media Community" (2011) from the School of Film & Media Studies, Ngee Ann Polytechnic[78]
  • Merlin Award "Most Original Illusionist of the Year" (2009), International Magicians Society[79][80][81]
  • "Most Number of Grand Illusions Performed in 5 Minutes" (2009), Singapore Book of Records[82]
  • "Master of Magic" (2005) International Festival of Magic, Bangladesh
  • Two Linking Ring Awards (1999) International Brotherhood of Magicians (U.S.A)

Illusion Design & Products[edit]

J C designs many of his own illusions for his shows. He has written numerous books on illusion design and presentation.[15][23][83][84]

Besides books, J C has also released DVDs and video products on magic and illusions.

His published works include:

  • One Man Parade, The Linking Ring (March 1999)[85]
  • The Magic Notebook (1998) – Lecture Notes
  • One Man Parade, The Linking Ring (November 2002)
  • Illusionary Departures (July 2004, 2012)
  • The Event Illusionist (December 2004)
  • Equilateral (August 2006)
  • Beyond the Stage (January 2007) – Lecture Notes
  • Urban Illusions (2009)
  • Pack Flat Illusions for Kid's & Family Shows (2011)
  • The Event Magician Volume 1 (2011)
  • The Event Magician Volume 2 (2011)
  • Urban Underground (2011) - DVD
  • Behind the Illusions (2011) - DVD
  • Illusionism (2012)
  • Ultimate Illusion Collection – Compilation of 4 books (2012)
  • 3 Sides of Magic (2012) – Lecture Notes
  • Corporate Illusions Made Easy (2013)
  • The Complete Illusion Library – Compilation of 8 Books (2014)
  • How to Be an Illusionist (2014)
  • Project One: The Solo Illusionist (2015)


In Singapore, J C is recognized as a creative entrepreneur & marketer for making magic a successful career and business.[3][4][12][14][86][87] He is the founder and creative magic producer for "Concept:Magic",[88] which produces his shows, special projects and manages magic talents.[4][6][8][14][73]

J C was a Spirit of Enterprise Nominee 2007 which recognizes individuals/ business with exceptional entrepreneurial spirit.[6][89] He is highly influenced by Jack Trout's & Al Ries' 'Positioning' marketing strategy which he adopts extensively in his businesses.[4][6][86][87]

J C runs a number of websites including IllusionBooks.com which is the world's largest free online resource for illusionists. J C also spearheaded the development of largest single resource on Kabuki Drops, a theatrical curtain drop reveal system MagicKabukiDrop.com. He is also the creator of the Pro Magic Kabuki Drop system that is an original portable, manual Kabuki curtain drop system.

J C is also the founder of BackstageBusinessAcademy.com that educates entertainers on business, marketing and investing. He published "The Showbiz Master Plan: A Blueprint to Building a Successful Live Entertainment Career" that is available on Amazon and from J C directly.

J C has given talks at numerous business events including for Passion Unleashed, for the Young Indians association in Kolkata, India as well as TEDxNTU and TEDxCQ events where he shared his thoughts on creativity, business and marketing.[90][90][91]


  1. ^ a b c "Singapore's David Copperfield" AsiaOne 10 August 2007
  2. ^ a b c "J C Sum, The Ace in Asia" MagicSeen, Issue 9, July 2006
  3. ^ a b c "Magic Techies" The Straits Times, Digital Life, 6 March 2007
  4. ^ a b c d e "Sum Kind of Wonderful Magic", SME Spotlight, The Business Times, 26 February 2008
  5. ^ "Magic casts spell on S'poreans", The New Paper, 9 October 2010
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Cool Jobs – Magician", JobsDB.com, 24 September 2008
  7. ^ a b c "One Man Parade" The Linking Ring Magazine March 1998 Issue (Official Publication of the International Brotherhood of Magicians)
  8. ^ a b c "The Sum of All Illusions" (Cover Story), Current Events Issue 7.1, September 2008
  9. ^ "Sum Kind of Wonderment" New Man Magazine (Singapore), December 2003
  10. ^ a b c d e "The Ultimate Hocus Pocus", KuPon, August – September 2008 issue
  11. ^ a b "The Quantum Ring August 2007 Issue" (Official Publication of the International Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring 115)
  12. ^ a b "Copperfield Can't Copy Me" The Straits Times – LIFE!, 2 April 2004
  13. ^ "Abrabadabra... it's marketing magic" The New Paper, 17 April 2003
  14. ^ a b c "Selling Magic" The Edge Singapore, Options, 5 March 2007
  15. ^ a b c "Use Your Own Illusion" TODAY, 16 February 2007
  16. ^ President's Star Charity Coverage, TODAY, 19 September 2004
  17. ^ President's Star Charity Coverage, Lianhe Zaobao, 14 September 2004
  18. ^ President's Star Charity Coverage, The Straits Times – LIFE!, 14 September 2004
  19. ^ President's Star Charity Coverage, The Straits Times, 13 September 2004
  20. ^ President's Star Charity Coverage, The New Paper, 13 September 2004
  21. ^ President's Star Charity Coverage, TODAY, 13 September 2004
  22. ^ Bookends, The Sunday Times, 19 August 2007
  23. ^ a b "The Living Room", News Radio 93.8FM, 27 February 2009
  24. ^ "Singapore Illusionist & Sexy Female Magician Make a Magical Appearance for Asia Uncut Talk Show on Star World". Retrieved 16 May 2009
  25. ^ a b EBuzz, AXN, 3 July 2009
  26. ^ "Duel Mahakarya Magician, Sebuah Pertaruhan Para 'Master'", Yahoo News Indonesia. Retrieved 26 August 2010
  27. ^ "Mahakarya RCTI" Archived 16 August 2010 at the Wayback Machine., RCTI TV, 13 August 2010
  28. ^ "First Singapore Artistes on Le Plus Grand Cabaret Du Monde", Backstage Business. Retrieved 16 January 2012
  29. ^ "Filming in Tokyo, Japan for ItteQ!". BACKSTAGE BUSINESS.
  30. ^ "When in Rome, it's Magical", The New Paper, 23 September 2013
  31. ^ a b "Singapore Magician Teleports from Ground to Rooftop of 50-storey Building", Channel News Asia, 19 August 2007
  32. ^ "The Impossible Teleportation: A Mega Success", AsiaOne, 21 August 2007
  33. ^ "Illusionist wows crowd as ST marks 162nd anniversary", The Sunday Times, 19 August 2007
  34. ^ "Just to Sum it Up" MagicSeen, Issue 17 October 2007
  35. ^ "50 Stories, 5 Seconds", iTricks News, 20 August 2007
  36. ^ "Asian Teleportation!", MAGIC Magazine, November 2007
  37. ^ "Trick with Treats", The Straits Times LIFE!, 12 September 2008
  38. ^ a b "新加坡河大型幻术表演 三人在数千人眼皮下消失", Lianhe Zaobao, 25 September 2008
  39. ^ Channel 8 News Archived 3 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine., 24 September 2008 (VIDEO)
  40. ^ a b "Movie Magic with J C Sum", FiRST, October 2008
  41. ^ "魔术宝贝2.5秒让你消失",WOBAO, 8 August 2008
  42. ^ Hot Stuff Magazine Singapore Archived 14 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine., Cover September 2008 Issue 67
  43. ^ "神奇魔术表演千名观众惊叹", Lianhe Wanbao, 25 September 2008
  44. ^ "幻术师瞬间传送真人 穿新加坡河畔", xin.sg, 24 September 2008
  45. ^ Channel 5 News, 24 September 2008
  46. ^ "Singapore Tonight, Channel NewsAsia, 24 September 2008
  47. ^ a b "Singapore magic duo set impossible record", (Main Feature) Channel News Asia, 28 June 2009
  48. ^ a b "Local duo sets world record", TODAY, 29 June 2009
  49. ^ "中視午間新聞", CTV (Taiwan), 29 June 2009
  50. ^ "5分钟变15种魔术 本地组合创世界纪录", OMY.sg, 1 July 2009
  51. ^ "Visual Evidence of 15 Illusions in 5 Minutes", iTricks, 1 July 2009
  52. ^ "15 Illusions in 5 Minutes" Archived 8 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine., Razor TV, 4 July 2009
  53. ^ "How far will they go?" Archived 8 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine., Razor TV, 4 July 2009
  54. ^ "ST reader wins car in one try", The Sunday Times, 23 August 2009
  55. ^ "Gone in 8.5 Seconds (Destination X Part 2)" Archived 27 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine., 24 August 2009
  56. ^ "S'pore illusionists spot on in 4D prediction", Channel News Asia, 28 January 2010
  57. ^ "Magicians' 4D prediction comes true", AsiaOne, 27 January 2010
  58. ^ "They had winning digits but did not bet", The New Paper, 30 January 2010
  59. ^ "Contest winners disappear in mid-air", Channel News Asia, 14 December 2010
  60. ^ "Now you see them, now you don't", TODAY, 13 December 2010
  61. ^ "美女帅哥魔术师 让5男女眼前消失", Lianhe Wanbao, 10 December 2010
  62. ^ ""Largest Mind Reading Feat", Singapore Book of Records, Retrieved 16 Jan 2011". singaporerecords.com.
  63. ^ “本地魔术师1小时测百人心 记者:难以置信!”, OMY.sg, 9 January 2012
  64. ^ a b c “Singapore sets world record for reading 100 minds in 1 hour”, XinMsn, 9 January 2012
  65. ^ “Singapore magicians set mind-reading record”, Channel News Asia, 7 January 2012
  66. ^ "Singapore magicians take their stunts to the next level - literally", TODAY, 30 August 2013
  67. ^ a b c d "Up in the air at S'pore Night Fest", TODAY, 2 September 2013
  68. ^ "J C Sum and Magic Babe Ning stun with stunts", The New Paper, 2 September 2013
  69. ^ "Magic is his Reality" AlumNUS, Oct – Dec 2014
  70. ^ Teens, February 2009
  71. ^ "A touch of Asian magic", Channel News Asia, 19 January 2009
  72. ^ "Singapore nightlife industry fights back against slowdown in tourism", Channel NewsAsia, 21 July 2008
  73. ^ a b "Magic Babe Ning & J C Sum – It takes two to magic", Kozine, February 2009 issue
  74. ^ "国际魔术师岑政聪,独家呈献iframe", 南洋, 23 March 2016
  75. ^ "Bytes of Magic", New Straits Times, 4 April 2016
  76. ^ "A Private Show of J C Sum", Vision KL, 29 March 2016
  77. ^ "iPad Digital Magic Taken to the Next Level", WebWire, 7 April 2016
  78. ^ "Singapore Illusionists Receive Special Recognition Award for Contributions to Arts & Media", Webwire.com. Retrieved 17 January 2011
  79. ^ Singapore Magic Duo Awarded “Most Original Illusionists 2009” Merlin Awards, Webwire.com. Retrieved 17 July 2009
  80. ^ IMS Award Letter, jcsum.com. Retrieved 23 July 2009
  81. ^ "Merlin Awards Recipients". Retrieved 18 October 2009
  82. ^ "J C & Ning go for gold", MagicSeen, July 2009
  83. ^ "Singapore style spellbinding", The NewPaper, 24 January 2009
  84. ^ Lianhe Zao Bao's "ZB Now" (Cover Story), 23 September 2008
  85. ^ "J.C. Sum One-Man Parade". The Linking Ring. 79 (3): 85–104. March 1999. (Subscription required (help)).
  86. ^ a b "Spellbound" The New Paper, 6 March 2008
  87. ^ a b "Simply Magic", The Straits Times, 8 March 2008
  88. ^ "Concept Magic: Singapore Asia Magicians Illusionists and Entertainers > Exotic Magicians, Illusionists & Variety Entertainers in Asia". Concept Magic: Singapore Asia Magicians Illusionists and Entertainers.
  89. ^ http://www.soe.com.sg/ 'List of Nominee' Retrieved, 17 March 2008.
  90. ^ a b ""Behind the Magic: The Value of Being Different" at TEDxNTU", Webwire.com. Retrieved 1 April 2011
  91. ^ "Speakers", TEDxNTU. Retrieved 1 April 2011

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