Taiwanese magician Eric Chien walked away with the grand prize of US$100,000 as the winner of Asia’s Got Talent Season 3. Photo: AXN Asia

When Taiwanese magician Eric Chien learned his first card
trick 10 years ago, he was unconfident that anyone would fall for it.

The 26-year-old, who was raised in the United States and is currently
based in Beijing, said: “At first, I thought the trick wouldn’t fool anyone but
when I performed it, my friends were blown away.

“I was (amazed that)
something that simple could create such a big reaction. That’s when I fell in
love with magic and wanted to make people happy by sharing it.”

From left to right: Eric Chien (in monochrome jacket) beat grand finalists Taiwan’s MANIAC Family, Indonesia’s Siti Saniyah, Malaysia’s NAMA and Yaashwin Sarawanan, Philippines’ JUNIOR GOOD VIBES and Power Duo and Taiwan’s Yang Shih Hao. Photo: AXN Asia

Last night, he was crowned the winner of Asia’s Got Talent Season 3 after a fierce competition against finalists including Malaysia’s “human calculator” Yaashwin Sarawanan and the Philippines’ contemporary acrobatic dance couple Power Duo.

Best known for his sleight of hand tricks that got judges Canadian musician David Foster, French-Indonesian singer-songwriter Anggun and K-pop star Jay Park awestruck, the self-taught magician started his career doing street performances and later worked as a magic consultant.

Last year, he took a leap of faith to transition from working backstage to performing professionally after winning the Close-up Magic category of the Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Magiques, commonly known as the World Championships of Magic.

And Chien has not regretted his decision to push himself out
of his comfort zone, saying: “I had a lot of doubts on myself and winning this
gave me lots of confidence… As the months (of competing) went by, I’ve learned
to have better presentation skills and stage presence.”

Quickly rising to become a fan-favorite on the show, Chien
charmed his audience with his innovative and unique tricks such as the ribbon
act performed in the semi-final 2 that he designed.

“The biggest challenge had to be creating the act because it
can take about 3 months to design one act. Once, I noticed that my act wasn’t
working as well as I expected and I had to immediately change to a different
act,” he said.

Recalling how he grew up watching magicians he admired such as Cyril Takayama and Yif on YouTube, Chien has also come full circle with both aspiring and professional magicians worldwide posting videos of their reactions to his performances.

He quipped: “I love to watch other people react (to my performances) because without an audience, there’s no magic. When I post videos on YouTube or online, I need to see their reaction to see that I’m doing good.”

Judge David Foster and Eric Chien on stage during the results show of Asia’s Got Talent. Photo: AXN Asia

On what he will do with the grand prize of US$100,000, Chien
said that he will invest it into hiring more assistants, consultants and stage
managers as well as renting  better
rehearsal space.

He said: “I will try to create more magic and I want to have
more platforms to perform… My goal was to share magic… and tonight, I got to
share everything with everyone here. I will continue to share my magic with the
world.