The thriving magic show industry in China has drawn attention to Liu Qian, China's top magician. Liu Qian now enjoys worldwide recognition due to his feats on both stage and TV magic shows. Want a better knowledge of this intriguing personality?
Liu Qian [Photo source: hunantv.com]
Let's follow our reporter He Fei to learn more.
Can you hear the applause for Liu Qian's magic show?
Liu Qian has gained worldwide acclaim from his terrific magic shows. He is the only magician in Taiwan who has been invited to do shows in Las Vegas and Hollywood, two of the best magic show venues in the United States. He has staged shows in numerous countries, including the United States, Japan, South Korea and the UK.
He has even won the Neil Foster - Bill Baird Award for Excellence in Manipulation awarded by Chavez College of Magic, one of the highest honors in the field of magic.
As a seasoned magician, Liu Qian has a unique understanding of showmanship.
"It is actually thinking, rather than polishing manipulation skills, that plays a strong part in achieving a successful magic show. We should think how to design the show in a more creative way, to make it appear more intriguing. We should attach much importance to enhancing our prowess in art in general and our performing skills."
Liu Qian's success can be traced back to his childhood. Born in 1976 in Taiwan, Liu Qian found himself attracted to a magic toy in a shop when he was 7 years old. From that point on, there was no stopping in his passion for magic.
His efforts first led him to fame at the age of 12, when he won Taiwan's Youth Magic Contest, which was judged by world magic master David Copperfield.
"This win was profoundly meaningful for me. It encouraged me to carry on my magic show dream. It showed me that my efforts could eventually lead to success."
Yet, despite his evident potential, Liu Qian did not plan on becoming a professional magician. He chose to study Japanese in Soochow University, and thought he would go on to work in a corporation, performing as an amateur magician in his spare time.
However, his failure to find a satisfactory job after graduation pushed him to take up magic as a career. He made up his mind with the encouragement of his parents, who were wise enough to ignore social prejudices toward magic shows as unstable and foolish work.
Liu Qian's venture into professional magic proved fruitful. He stood out in many contests and conventions, and took first place in the international World Magic Seminar Asia in 2003.
The increase in fame brought him more show invitations and more applause.
Liu Qian is giving a magic show. [Photo source: good18.com]
Not content with his success on stage, Liu Qian expanded his career into TV. He began hosting a TV programme named "Magic Star" on China's Star TV in 2001, and his amusing performances quickly made the program the most popular one on Star TV.
Liu Qian gave his first live street show in the program.
"Street shows are the biggest challenge for us magicians. We go to streets, roads and fields to do shows for pedestrians, policeman and peasants. We have to cope with unexpected situations and tough crowds. Therefore, it helps greatly refine our performing abilities."
Liu Qian now plans to perform primarily on the Chinese mainland, where he can work among audiences who share his cultural background.
He plans to continue improving on his craft with a new type of magic show called mentalism, which purports to foretell the future and read people's minds.
For Beyond Beijing, I'm He Fei.