Choi! Touchwood!

— the first book in the series of Singapore tradition, superstitions, myths and taboos



Jesvin Yeo

Liew JieNi

Alvin Ng





part of singapore culture & design research project


Research Project: cultural research and inquiries in intangible heritage – Part One.


Why are there bat motifs in a Chinese temple?

How is it you’ll rarely find a cactus in a Chinese home?

Why are red dates and melon seeds must-haves at a Chinese wedding?


For many Singaporean Chinese, these are just some of the traditions, myths and taboos that shape daily life, and they are passed down from generation to generation. Most of these verbal traditions are lost when they reach Generation X because Gen

X are better educated therefore they believe they know more than their grandparents and parents, and they feel that these verbal traditions have little scientific proof. Based on this aspect, Choi! is a project that investigates and archives these verbal

traditions and small practices (as their are passed down) before they fade away.


The outcomes of these archiving efforts are an illustrated book – Choi!Touchwood! Through visual media, this project aims to bring out the reminiscent feelings of old traditions and remind people about their childhood days when traditions, myths and taboos were a big part of their lives. Although in this modern, developed and globalised Singapore, traditions become immaterial, yet it is always valuable to archive them for the younger and future generations.




Choi!Touchwood! is an illustration book that takes you on a whirlwind journey into the world of Chinese traditions, superstitions and taboos at the heart of Singapore's Chinatown. It also included is a pocket-sized guide that is your handy companion as you traverse the streets of Chinatown.


The unique features of the book are:

  • Book jacket is design in a way that it can be folded into two different cover designs. It can be also open up as a 430x425mm poster. The repeated pattern is made up by lucky and unlucky symbols; you may find the unlucky number four in Chinese as part of the pattern. 

  • Book sleeve can be removed and open up as a gift bag.





Together with Liew JieNi and Alvin Ng, we were interviewed by several Chinese Newspapers, and invited to do seminar talks and walking tours by National Book Development Council of Singapore and National Library Singapore.




book launch

book launch

book talk

book talk

cultural walk

cultural walk

Choi!Touchwood! is supported by National Heritage Board, Singapore and Chinatown Business Association, Singapore.

Research period: 2008-2009

Production period: 2009-2010

Second version: 2012