Thomas Sauvin

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Thomas Sauvin is a French photography collector and editor who lives in Beijing. Since 2006 he exclusively works as a consultant for the UK-based Archive of Modern Conflict, [1] [2] an independent archive and publisher, for whom he collects Chinese works, from contemporary photography to period publications to anonymous photography. Sauvin has had exhibitions of his work, and published through Archive of Modern Conflict.


Negatives for Sauvin's Beijing Silvermine project Negatives for the Silvermine Project.JPG
Negatives for Sauvin's Beijing Silvermine project

Beijing Silvermine

Sauvin started the Beijing Silvermine project, accumulating more than 850,000 anonymous color negatives (as of December 2019) destined for destruction in a Beijing recycling zone. [3] [4] It covers a period of 20 years, from 1985, namely when photographic film (which contains microscopically small light-sensitive silver halide crystals) started being used massively in China, to 2005, when digital photography started taking over. [5] [6] This period is the beginning of post-socialist China. [7]


Publications by Sauvin

Publications with contributions by Sauvin


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  1. 1 2 MacDonald, Kerri (1 March 2013). "Chinese Family Memories, Recycled". The New York Times . Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  2. Archive of Modern Conflict
  3. 1 2 "Memories from beyond: Long discarded photographs reveal a changing China". The Independent. 12 December 2019. Retrieved 2019-12-22.
  4. Connors, Amy (20 October 2014). "Thomas Sauvin's Beijing Silvermine". The New Yorker . Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  5. Branigan, Tania (4 January 2013). "Negative views: collection of camera film captures changing face of China". The Guardian . Beijing. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
  6. "Rescued Chinese negatives - in pictures". The Guardian. 4 January 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
  7. Branigan, Tania (4 January 2013). "Negative views: collection of camera film captures changing face of China". The Guardian. ISSN   0261-3077 . Retrieved 2019-12-22 via
  8. O'Hagan, Sean (30 March 2014). "The world's weirdest photo albums". The Guardian. ISSN   0261-3077 . Retrieved 2019-12-22 via
  9. O'Hagan, Sean (17 April 2015). "Fake bats, non-people and soccer tips from Chairman Mao: Martin Parr's side-on history of Chinese photography". The Guardian. ISSN   0261-3077 . Retrieved 2019-12-22 via
  10. "Dali International Photography Festival", China Daily. Accessed 3 January 2015.
  11. "The artists Giovanni Melillo Kostner, Thomas Sauvin and Lei Lei at 'Open City Museum'", Cuartel. Accessed 3 January 2015.
  12. "Silvermine Archived 2012-10-05 at the Wayback Machine ", Singapore International Photography Festival. Accessed 3 January 2015.
  13. "Thomas Sauvin", BBC World Service. Accessed 3 January 2015.
  14. O'Hagan, Sean (10 March 2013). "Format international photography festival – review". The Observer. ISSN   0029-7712 . Retrieved 2019-12-22 via
  15. O'Hagan, Sean (22 December 2013). "The best photography of 2013: Sean O'Hagan's choice". The Guardian. ISSN   0261-3077 . Retrieved 2019-12-22 via