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12° & CLEAR SKY ON SATURDAY 19 OCTOBER IN SYDNEY
By Annie Murney
January 03, 2014
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Beijing Silvermine

See the making of modern China in a 'silvermine' of forgotten photographs.
By Annie Murney
January 03, 2014
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Beijing Silvermine is a rare and unique collection of photographs capturing everyday life in China during the decades following the Cultural Revolution. Dug out of family archives, the anonymous subjects of these photographs become unknowing participants in mapping a period of immense social change.

Since 2009, Beijing-based collector Thomas Sauvin has amassed, edited and archived more than half a million photographic negatives. He struck up a deal to buy the 'silvermine' of abandoned memories, which were destined for destruction. From moments of exquisite intimacy between lovers through to the static poses of holiday-makers, Sauvin injects the photographs with a retrospective significance by re-casting the subjects as forgers of modern China.

As much as the fascinating content, Bejing Silvermine also celebrates the perishable quality of film and vernacular styles of photography. There is a feeling of nostalgia attached to the imperfect beauty of the 20th-century image, bearing the inevitable taint of time. The exhibition will also feature two video animations produced by Beijing-based animator Lei Lei in collaboration with Sauvin, compiling the collection into a surreal imagescape.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=QzCls2dHePo

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