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Young man ends Taiwan's drought at world magic contest

2015/07/13 14:01:49

Taipei, July 13 (CNA) With a seemingly flawless card trick, a 26-year old magician from Taipei has become the first Taiwanese to win a top prize at the prestigious World Championship of Magic.

Horret Wu was judged as the top contestant in the close-up competition in the card magic category, which was performed in close proximity to the judges and audience, according to a report in the United Daily News Monday.

"Card magic is commonly a European area of expertise," Wu told the paper after the competition. "There aren't many that can take the championship from them without remarkable innovation and skill."

Wu said he was advised to change categories to increase his chances of winning a prize but he declined to do so. The competition was not just as a way to challenge others, but also himself, he was quoted as saying.

His decision paid off as he became the first Taiwanese and the first Asian competitor to win first prize in that category, giving a performance that was considered a flawless display of card tricks at the highest level of technical skill.

At the end of his performance, Wu received a five-minute standing ovation for what was his first performance in a global competition, which was organized by the Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Magiques (FISM).

He has won multiple awards in contests hosted by the Taiwan Magic Association and he placed second last year in a category of the FISM competition in South Korea.

A self-described "underground sleight master", Wu specializes in performances revolving around card magic and sleight-of-hand tricks. Well known on the Taiwanese magic scene, he has crafted original acts of his own.

Wu recalls practicing magic at his father's restaurant in Songshan District in Taipei, a place with no air conditioning and lots of mosquitoes.

Nevertheless, it was not uncommon for Wu to work well past midnight, practicing his craft. He attributed his FISM win to his diligence, which he said allowed him to perfect his performance.

The FISM is one of the top organizations in the international magic community, dating back to its founding in 1948. The most prominent event hosted by the FISM is the triennial World Championship of Magic, which is attended by thousands of magicians from around the world.

This year's competition was held in the Italian town of Rimini from July 6-11.

For Wu, the next step is to perform at magic shows in Japan and France, with the goal of bringing Taiwan into the spotlight in the international magic community.

(By Chen Pei-yu and Lance Yau)