Shin Lim's tribute to Paris

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Bill Mullins
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Shin Lim's tribute to Paris

Postby Bill Mullins » November 16th, 2015, 1:56 pm


Roger M.
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Re: Shin Lim's tribute to Paris

Postby Roger M. » November 16th, 2015, 2:29 pm

Card magic as art.

Bill Mullins
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Re: Shin Lim's tribute to Paris

Postby Bill Mullins » November 16th, 2015, 3:01 pm

A cynic might say "Card magic as opportunistically taking advantage of a tragedy to further your brand."

30,000 views already, and he point out in the notes "For my fellow magician friends: In case you were wondering this is my 52 shades of Red(Second Edition) routine. Coming very soon so stay tuned!"

This guy actually lives in Paris, I understand. Not quite so crass.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Shin Lim's tribute to Paris

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 16th, 2015, 3:24 pm

Bill, I don't think you should give away the method, so I've edited the titles.

Maybe you're coming down just a bit too hard on him. Perhaps the tribute is heartfelt, but he has doesn't have the filter to realize that promoting his next release is inappropriate.
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Re: Shin Lim's tribute to Paris

Postby performer » November 16th, 2015, 10:46 pm

Maybe it is just me but somehow I don't feel comfortable with terrorist incidents and card tricks mixed in together. I really don't think it is very appropriate combination somehow. One is entertainment and the other certainly isn't.

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Re: Shin Lim's tribute to Paris

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 16th, 2015, 11:19 pm

Artists express their tributes using the tools they have, whether it's music, dance, or even magic.
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Re: Shin Lim's tribute to Paris

Postby performer » November 17th, 2015, 6:39 am

There is emotion in music and dance. Card tricks seems different to me somehow. Mind you I didn't see him promoting his new release in the video. Where did he do that?

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Andrew Pinard
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Re: Shin Lim's tribute to Paris

Postby Andrew Pinard » November 17th, 2015, 9:20 am

I felt the same as Bill when I saw the video. I can't imagine using a tragedy to promote my own work, but different strokes...

Roger M.
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Re: Shin Lim's tribute to Paris

Postby Roger M. » November 17th, 2015, 10:03 am

Professional card magicians do card tricks. That's what they do.

Some folks choose to do meditate in silence in response to these types of things, other folks choose to do what they can as per their particular skill set and/or knowledge base.

CNN and FOX have had giant, screaming, sensationalist headlines on their web site since the event took place, Shin Lim offers somewhat of a quiet personal viewpoint in comparison, utilizing the skills he has.
Last edited by Roger M. on November 17th, 2015, 10:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Shin Lim's tribute to Paris

Postby brianarudolph » November 17th, 2015, 10:17 am

I understand the need to express sympathy and solidarity for and with those involved in the tragedy, but some art forms are often better than others at achieving the desired effect.

A respected painter or graphic designer, for example, may face little thought or criticism for painting a tribute canvas or releasing an image of support. A pastry chef/baker, on the other hand, might be subject to more cries of outrage for daring to produce a "cookie to console" or some such (even with all proceeds going to help the victims), since folks would at some point think it was more of a ploy to drive business into the bakery by exploiting the tragedy he or she may sincerely be wishing to help in the aftermath.

Magic as an art unfortunately seems closer in the eyes of the public to my last example than the former. Look at the reactions to the fellow who performed feats of magic that were ultimately designed (so he says) to help the homeless. The mere fact that I as an admittedly small in stature member of the magic community even put the parenthetical of "so he says" in my previous sentence illustrates the uncertainty that I think exists.

I little doubt that someone of Shim Lim's stature would most likely be sincere in his use of magic as a tribute and message of solidarity, perhaps without realizing that there could be negative perceptions out there. I could vividly see someone like Xavier Mortimer taking time off, flying to Paris and doing several shows at no cost to express his sympathy without saying a word to virtually anyone other the local media a few days in advance to invite people. On the other hand, I could also see a magician harboring ulterior, bottom-line motives loudly and proudly exploiting the tragedy to attract more business to a series of new shows. Let's just hope no one takes such a ... er ... ahem ... crass angle.

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Re: Shin Lim's tribute to Paris

Postby Roger M. » November 17th, 2015, 10:41 am

Shin Lim made an effort to express a message through his art. That's all.

The very nature of art is that beholders read into it their own personal interpretation.

Everything is working as it should.

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Re: Shin Lim's tribute to Paris

Postby performer » November 17th, 2015, 11:20 am

I just saw an interview with Shin Lim. He seemed modest and quiet. Despite my reservations already expressed I suspect he was doing this for sincere reasons. I just a tad uncomfortable with it since people watching it will be thinking "how did he do that" rather than victims in Paris. I just don't think it is time for bafflement somehow.

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Re: Shin Lim's tribute to Paris

Postby Jonathan Townsend » November 17th, 2015, 11:58 am

I like that he set up his routine to present suitable messages in the finale.
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Re: Shin Lim's tribute to Paris

Postby MagicbyAlfred » November 17th, 2015, 12:33 pm

I don't think magic should be put in a box, i.e. it's appropriate for this purpose but not for that. Like any art form, in addition to being (hopefully) entertaining, it is a medium of expression. For Shin Lim, the cards are his palette of paints, and given that freedom of expression is a pillar of a free, democratic society, I think he should be free to use his art to express himself and his feelings in the way he chooses. Of course, there will always be critics of a performance - analyzing, dissecting, judging - just as is the case with the highest echelons of theatre, music, film etc., and indeed, such critiques fall within that same precious sphere of freedom of expression. And thus, we have this wonderful forum...

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Re: Shin Lim's tribute to Paris

Postby brianarudolph » November 17th, 2015, 5:57 pm

MagicbyAlfred wrote:I don't think magic should be put in a box, i.e. it's appropriate for this purpose but not for that. Like any art form, in addition to being (hopefully) entertaining, it is a medium of expression. For Shin Lim, the cards are his palette of paints, and given that freedom of expression is a pillar of a free, democratic society, I think he should be free to use his art to express himself and his feelings in the way he chooses. Of course, there will always be critics of a performance - analyzing, dissecting, judging - just as is the case with the highest echelons of theatre, music, film etc., and indeed, such critiques fall within that same precious sphere of freedom of expression. And thus, we have this wonderful forum...


I totally agree. I don't think magic should be put in a box either (ignoring the slightly ironic choice of words.) But my point and my lament is that magic still never seems to get that artistic credit in the eyes of the public even when used respectfully. Perhaps more performances such as Shin's will help change that perception.

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Re: Shin Lim's tribute to Paris

Postby performer » November 17th, 2015, 6:08 pm

The "public" were kids once. I bet they liked magic then and gave it respect. However, when they grew up they found they didn't like it so much. However, I have the secret of why the public don't give magic "respect" or treat it as an "art". Nobody else in magic I have discussed this with seems to have figured it out. However, I did a long, long time ago.

Please keep this a secret. Shhhh............

The reason is......shhh.............

MOST MAGICIANS ARE CRAP!

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Re: Shin Lim's tribute to Paris

Postby Jack Shalom » November 18th, 2015, 4:49 am

CNN and FOX have had giant, screaming, sensationalist headlines on their web site since the event took place, Shin Lim offers somewhat of a quiet personal viewpoint in comparison, utilizing the skills he has.


That was my impression as well. Shin Lim is also a film-maker and classically trained pianist. His whole sensibility is artistic. I think it's natural for him to express himself in whatever medium in which he is currently involved.

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Andrew Pinard
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Re: Shin Lim's tribute to Paris

Postby Andrew Pinard » November 18th, 2015, 10:33 pm

If you read the comments on the thread you can see that he uses this piece in most of his performances and changes the message for each venue. The piece is artistic and the customization is good business, but this does not appear to be something he put together as a result of an artistic effort to respond to the tragedy. That coupled with the promotional links (including one to purchase the routine) led to my discomfort with how it was presented...

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Re: Shin Lim's tribute to Paris

Postby Bill Duncan » November 18th, 2015, 10:46 pm

If it was more than an add for his new product, then it missed the mark.

Had it ended at the 3:02 mark it might have approached being a touching gesture. Making the tribute vanish (in a puff of smoke????) and continuing with the rest of the routine of color changes erases the message.


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