Since 2009, the French collector and artist Thomas Sauvin has embarked on an unusual adventure: salvaging discarded negatives from a recycling plant on the edge of Beijing that were destined to destruction. Undertaking one of the largest and most important archival projects in China, he buys by the kilo, taking away rice bags filled with thousands or rolls of slobbery, dusty and scratched negative film. Once closely examined, images are consistently selected, digitized, and classified. Today it encompasses over half a million of anonymous photographs spanning the period from 1985 to 2005, reconstructing then a large part of the history of popular analogue photography in China. This coherent and unceasingly evolving archive allows us to apprehend negatives in different ways. It constitutes a visual platform for cross-cultural interactions, while impacting on our collective memory of the recent past.

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EXHIBITIONS
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• November 2016, « Thomas Sauvin (Beijing Silvermine)», Paris Photo, France,
• September 2016, « Hand-Colored », Singapore International Photography Festival, Singapore
• September 2016, « Hand-Colored », Festival Images, Vevey, Switzerland
• June 2016, « Beijing Silvermine », Promenades photographiques, Vendôme, France
• February 2016, « Retrieved », SF Camera works, San Francisco, USA
• November 2015, « Clap your hands », Hubei Museum of Art, Wuhan, China
• October 2015, « Until Death Do Us Part + Beauty and the Beast », CAFA, Beijing, China
• September 2014, « Silvermine + Lunar Caustic + Recycled », Gallery Paris-Beijing, Brussels, Belgium
• September 2014, « Silvermine: by the water », Festival Images, Vevey, Switzerland
• January 2014, « Archive State », Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, USA
• January 2014, « Beijing Silvermine », 4A Center for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney, Australia
• June 2013, « Beijing Silvermine », Salt Yard, Hong Kong
• March 2013, « Beijing Silvermine », FORMAT Photo festival, Derby, United Kingdom
• October 2012, « Beijing Silvermine », Singapore International Photo Festival, Singapore
• April 2012, « Photographic Oddities from the AMC », Caochangdi Photo Festival, Beijing, China
• September 2011, « Beijing Silvermine », Dali Photo Festival, Dali, China


AWARDS & SHORTLISTS
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• Xian / 线
Nominated for the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize, 2017
Selected as one of the 150 Photo-Eye Best Books by Daniel Boetker-Smith, 2016

• Until Death Do Us Part / 双喜
Selected as one of the "Greatest Photo Books of All Time" by Source Photographic Review issue N°88, 2016
Nominated for the Best Photobook at the Fotobook Festival, Kassel, Germany, 2016
Selected as one of the Photo-Eye Best Books, 2015
Selected as one of the New York Times Best Photobooks, 2015

• Silvermine Albums
Selected as one of the "Greatest Photo Books of All Time" by Source Photographic Review issue N°88, 2016
Nominated for the Deutsche Börse Foundation Photography Prize, 2014
Nominated for the Best Photobook at the Fotobook Festival, Kassel, Germany, 2013
Shortlisted for the Paris Photo Aperture Foundation First Photobook Award, France, 2013

• Quanshen / 全身
Selected as one of the Photo-Eye Best Books, 2013