Recent Research Projects

“Three Celebrations of the Chaozhao Hungry Ghosts (Yulan) Festival: Research, Transmission, and Promotion”

Funded by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Office, HKSAR Government                                    Amount of Grant: HK$1,004,400

Project Investigator: Prof. Selina Ching Chan

Project Description:

The project will record and analyze features in the Festival that are considered as intangible cultural heritage. Besides studying and documenting the process of organizing the Festival, site layout and use, contents of the religious ceremonies, performance of Chiu Chow operas, techniques of bamboo shed theatre building, and paper crafting, the project also analyzes how Hong Kong’s collective memories and economic history are embedded in the Festival. A virtual Yulan museum will be constructed to display research findings and provide a virtual tour. A documentary and video clips of the Yulan Festival will be displayed on the virtual museum’s website, as well as comic strips, animations, drawings, old photos, and texts. There will be virtual guided tour services of the Yulan Festival, which will allow visitors to interact with the environment, as well as explore and experience a ceremony or artefacts.












早期碼頭 (港口)

















full link to video:


full link to video:

香港潮人盂蘭勝會漫畫和短片發佈會 暨 座談會


Chaozhou Hungry Ghosts Festival in Hong Kong

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
Intangible Cultural Heritage

Contributor:  Selina Ching Chan (Hong Kong Shue Yan University)

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, all kinds of public gatherings were suspended in Hong Kong. All the traditional celebrations of the Chaozhou Hungry Ghosts (Yulan) Festival – Hong Kong’s ICH, and China’s national-level ICH – in the conventional public spaces were cancelled because the government forbade crowd gatherings and refused to release these sports grounds for the festival. Chaozhou operas were abandoned due to crowd control and travel restrictions on performers from Mainland China. Similarly, there was also a shortage on religious specialists for rituals because they were mostly from Mainland China.

In the pandemic, organizers at different districts tried very hard to maintain the traditional festival rituals in order to purify the communities and pray for ……

For full publication:

“The Chinese Diaspora of Southeast Asia and Hong Kong”

Funded by Hong Kong Museum of History, HKSAR Government                                                     Amount of Grant: HK$646,800

Project Investigator: Dr. Yew-foong Hui

Project Description:

The Chinese have been migrating to different parts of Southeast Asia since 111BC for political and economic reasons. However, it was only in the 19th to 20th centuries that large numbers of Chinese workers and merchants flocked to different parts of Southeast Asia. Hong Kong and Singapore played an important role in this migratory wave as British colonial ports that facilitated the movement of Chinese populations between South China and various parts of Southeast Asia. Moreover, as a cosmopolitan city on the doorstep of China, Hong Kong has had close connections with Chinese communities in Southeast Asia throughout the mid-19th to 20th centuries, and they continue to be relevant and active today. This project examines the history of Chinese migration to Southeast Asia, highlighting the connections between these Chinese communities and Hong Kong.

“Festivals in Hong Kong: Past and Present”

Funded by the Hong Kong Museum of History, HKSAR Government                                        Amount of Grant: HK$649,478

Project Investigator: Prof. Selina Ching Chan

Project Description:

This research aims to explore the relationship between festivals and the historical development of Hong Kong, and analyze how the performance of festivals reveals the colonial political background and the historical characteristics of the immigrant society. It examines how various festivals have been performed in the era of fishing and farming, entrepot trading economy, industrialization, globalization, and reunification of Hong Kong to China. It also investigates how festivals appear in urban public spaces in new forms and with new meanings at various times, revealing the changes in the daily lives of Hong Kong people and their diverse and complex identities. It examines how the performance of various festivals today embodies the unique hybrid culture with reference to the changes in traditional patriarchal society, the intermixing of different types of cultures brought by the immigrants to Hong Kong, the impact of globalization, as well as the influence of consumerism.

“Edible Heritage and Sensory Heritage Making in Chinatown and Little India (Singapore)”

Funded by the National Heritage Board (Singapore)

Project Investigator: Dr. Yew-foong Hui

Project Description:

This project seeks to document and analyze foodscapes and sensory heritage in Singapore. It does so with particular reference to the case studies of Chinatown and Little India in reflecting how everyday memories and gastronomic experiences serve as avenues through which sensory heritage may be delineated and constructed. Through its research, the project hopes to be able to make pertinent contributions towards the study of intangible cultural heritage, social memory and food studies in Singapore.

“Mapping Diasporic Networks: The Case of the Indonesian Chinese”

Funded by the Research Grants Council (RGC), Hong Kong                                                           Amount of Grant: HK$585,350
Project Investigator: Dr. Yew-foong Hui

Project Description:

This project maps out the migratory paths of Medan Chinese and investigates how they are connected and organized across national boundaries. This part of the Chinese diaspora, distributed across Indonesia, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, continues to be connected through kinship, alumni or hometown association ties. Through multi-sited ethnographic research in Indonesia, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, this project will study these ties and ask if they represent a kind of Chinese transnationalism that can persist across generations and geographical regions.