Silvermine – Thomas Sauvin


Year: 2013
Edition: First
Pages: Five albums each containing 20 prints
Dimensions: 11 x 7.7 cm
Format: Hardcover

Silvermine is a set of five photo albums each containing 20 prints. The negatives were salvaged from a recycling plant on the edge of Beijing, where they had been sent to be filtered for their silver nitrate content. Between 2009 and 2013, Beijing-based collector Thomas Sauvin amassed, archived and edited more than half a million negatives destined for destruction.

The Silvermine albums offer a unique photographic portrait of the Chinese capital and the lives of its inhabitants covering a period of 20 years – from 1985, when silver film came into widespread use in China, to 2005 when digital photography came to the fore. In these souvenir snapshots taken by anonymous and ordinary Chinese people, we are witnessing the birth of post-socialist China.

Each album focuses on a different theme:

Blue album: TVs and Fridges
Green album: One and Two
Orange album: Marilyn and Ronald
Pink album: Parties and Transvestites
Yellow album: Leisure and Work

• Chosen by Martin Parr as a Best Photobook of the Year for the British Journal of Photography 

Limited edition of 200 copies.

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