Immortal Beloved is a continuation of Chang Yoong Chia’s previous collage series, The World is Flat (2011). Also employing the use of postage stamps to create collages, the title “Immortal Beloved” draws inspiration from a love letter written by the German composer Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) to a person he simply addressed as “Unsterbliche Geliebte” (the German for “Immortal Beloved”).
Based on the idea that everyone holds a personal “immortal beloved” in their hearts, Chang uses chopped postage stamps to reconstruct piecemeal fragments of history into a perceptible framework. Chang’s zeal for searching out and displaying these portions of history also extends to other old objects, labelled simply as “evidence”, of private correspondence and transactions, and consisting chiefly of old letters, rental receipts, and death certificates.
Chang once said:
“From searching for old postage stamps, I slowly get in touch with their relevant old objects. Because of my curiosity, I questioned, and searched for answers. By capturing these objects’ “trace,” I intend to search and imagine the lives of individuals which disappeared silently in the context of history.