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.

Beijing Municipality in Peoples Republic of China

Beijing, formerly romanized as Peking, is the capital of the People's Republic of China, the world's third most populous city proper, and most populous capital city. The city, located in northern China, is governed as a municipality under the direct administration of central government with 16 urban, suburban, and rural districts. Beijing Municipality is surrounded by Hebei Province with the exception of neighboring Tianjin Municipality to the southeast; together the three divisions form the Jingjinji metropolitan region and the national capital region of China.

Archive of Modern Conflict (AMC) is an organisation and independent publisher based in Holland Park, London, England.


Negatives for the Silvermine Project Negatives for the Silvermine Project.JPG
Negatives for the Silvermine Project

Life and work

Sauvin started the Silvermine Project, accumulating more than half a million anonymous color negatives destined for destruction in a Beijing recycling zone. [1] [3] It covers a period of 20 years, from 1985, namely when silver film started being used massively in China, to 2005, when digital photography started taking over. [4] [5]

Negative (photography) image on photographic film in which color and brightness are inverted

In photography, a negative is an image, usually on a strip or sheet of transparent plastic film, in which the lightest areas of the photographed subject appear darkest and the darkest areas appear lightest. This reversed order occurs because the extremely light-sensitive chemicals a camera film must use to capture an image quickly enough for ordinary picture-taking are darkened, rather than bleached, by exposure to light and subsequent photographic processing.

Publications by Sauvin

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

Publications with contributions by Sauvin


Singapore International Photography (SIPF), the first event of its kind in Southeast Asia – its first edition held in October 2008, is a non-profit biennial festival that strives to provide a platform for Southeast Asian artists to showcase their works alongside their international peers at various venues across Singapore.

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  1. 1 2 3 MacDonald, Kerri (1 March 2013). "Chinese Family Memories, Recycled". The New York Times . Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  2. Archive of Modern Conflict
  3. Connors, Amy (20 October 2014). "Thomas Sauvin's Beijing Silvermine". The New Yorker . Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  4. Branigan, Tania (4 January 2013). "Negative views: collection of camera film captures changing face of China". The Guardian . Beijing. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
  5. "Rescued Chinese negatives - in pictures". The Guardian. 4 January 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
  6. "Dali International Photography Festival", China Daily. Accessed 3 January 2015.
  7. "The artists Giovanni Melillo Kostner, Thomas Sauvin and Lei Lei at 'Open City Museum'", Cuartel. Accessed 3 January 2015.
  8. "Silvermine Archived 2012-10-05 at the Wayback Machine ", Singapore International Photography Festival. Accessed 3 January 2015.
  9. "Thomas Sauvin", BBC World Service. Accessed 3 January 2015.