The Chang'an project is headed by Professor Heng Chye Kiang and a team of researchers including Ms. Gan Ser Min, at the Department of Architecture, National University of Singapore. It originated in 1994 as a research project to model digitally the cityscapes of two of the most important cities of the Tang and Song periods - Chang 'an (618 - 907 CE) and Suzhou (960 - 1279 CE). The project aimed at providing visual, formal, and spatial information critical to the understanding of the development of Chinese cities.
Using primary and secondary sources like archaeological reports, period paintings, funerary objects, literary docu-ments, extant architectural examples and current know-ledge as the basic for interpreting the cityscape of Chang'an individual buildings and compounds were created and combined to form the city. The result is the creation of visual information never before available.
In 1996, the Asian Civilisations Museum
took an interest in the project. A multimedia programme for educational purposes was
subsequently developed. The completed software is now on display in the Asian
The Chang'an multimedia software is designed primarily as an educational package for use in museums with an interest in Chinese culture and history. The visual and audio contents serve to reinforce and render abstract concepts tangible and accessible to the layman.
At the moment, the software is displayed in an interactive-booth in the Asian Civilisations Museum (Singapore) and has proved to be a favourite exhibit especially among the younger crowds and school-children. Mature visitors also welcome the exhibit, citing its animation sequences and visual information as highly superior to conventional models and graphics illustrations.