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.
Books by Thomas Sauvin
NO MORE NO LESS