Taiwanese superstar magician Liu Qian delivers a riveting combination of magic and star persona.
Contributed By Cara Ang
Taiwanese magician Liu Qian, touted as Asia’s answer to David Copperfield, gathered legions of fans for his first large-scale performance here in Singapore at The Max Pavillion on July 31. Liu is one of the very few Asian magicians to have broken onto the international arena, having been invited to perform at Las Vegas and Hollywood, as well as other places in U.S.A., Japan, South Korea and United Kingdom.
Having pursued his craft from a very young age, he won Taiwan’s Youth Magic Contest which was judged by David Copperfield himself, at age 12. Thereafter, he won one of the highest honors in the field of magic, the Neil Foster-Bill Baird Award for Excellence in Manipulation, awarded by the Chavez College of Magic in Los Angeles. A regular performer and judge in Taiwanese variety show, Variety Big Brother, Liu now enjoys worldwide recognition.
During the gala, Liu orchestrated a series of breathtaking illusions that included floating link rings, ladder levitation, death spikes, and stunts like disappearing into thin air as well as breaking free from obstacles within seconds without external aid.
With his unique, personable approach to showmanship, even his execution of seemingly routine magic tricks like transformation of dollar notes and card manipulation left the audience transfixed, as he threw in a dose of wit and punch lines for good measure. About half the show involved some form of audience interaction. Instead of making his assistant float, for example, he searched the crowd for a child to join him on stage to execute the trick.
|PHOTOS COURTESY OF UNUSUAL ENTERTAINMENT|
The highlight of the evening was a new type of magic performance called mentalism, which is purported to be able to read people’s minds. In order to eliminate the probability of a pre-planned audience, Liu threw out a Frisbee into the crowd—the fortunate “catcher” was then invited onto the stage to participate in the act. Liu correctly predicted the mobile number of his guest performer just by requesting her to write her phone number on a piece of paper.
Gan Theng Hwee, 41, an IT analyst, commented that many of the tricks were never seen before and had a surprise factor. One of the favorite tricks for 18-year-old student Rachael Ng was the linking finger ring act. “It was really amazing and it kept me wondering how he ever managed to link the finger rings of different members in the audience together and detach them again in the blink of an eye, under everybody’s watchful gaze.”
Liu had indeed fascinated many that night, not just with the many tricks up his sleeves but with his intriguing personality, thanks to a charismatic stage presence and personable approach to psyching up his audience. He ended the night on a whimsical note as he created a “snow” effect out of nothing but a piece of paper, leaving fans from this little tropical island in awe.