An Ha Lim performs the most beautiful card manipulation routine I’ve ever seen in the video embedded at the end of this post.
It is set to instrumental music (string quartet Bond’s “Explosive”) and the music is crucial to the success of the magic performance. Driving strings suddenly give way to an airy, new age feel at 1:35. The accompanying change of pace and texture of the card productions is something I’ve never seen before. Cards gently spin around. It’s like a beautiful morning after a storm. Then, bright colors start to pop about 10 seconds later. Then, cards appear at his fingertips five at a time and the cards flutter like butterflies. The intensity of the music picks up, as does the pace at which cards appear from nowhere.
An Ha Lim was on the cover of Genii in August 2010. Magazine editor Richard Kaufman noted his charisma, personality and beguiling smile as well as his tremendous skill and his first-place finishes in competitions.
“He has new techniques for producing multiple cards that have left many speculating whether he uses some sort of mechanical device hidden in his hands,” Kaufman wrote. “Demonstrably not true.”
An Ha Lim, who is from South Korea, said in the Genii interview that he became interested in magic in 2003. He practices five to six hours a day, and up to 18 hours a day in the months before a competition. He sometimes does two hours of image training, during which time he imagines the routine and runs through it without cards.
The routine is below. The video apparently was pulled from a French TV show, “Le Plus Grand Cabaret Du Monde,” that features a variety of acts. I never saw An Ha Lim perform until iTricks posted it.