Until Death Do Us Part by Thomas Sauvin: A Look Into the Chinese Weddings of the Past

Until Death Do Us Part by Thomas Sauvin: A Look Into the Chinese Weddings of the Past - An Award Winning Photo Book | OlIO - A New York Based Music & Arts Collective

Until Death Do Us Part is a remarkable photographic journey by Thomas Sauvin that documents the unexpected role cigarettes have played at Chinese weddings, and the unexpected lives these photographs have lived long after they were meant to be discarded forever.

Sauvin, a French archivist and artist, became interested in China's photographic culture while living in Beijing. He stumbled upon many discarded negatives in a waste facility on the edge of Beijing, many of which captured the essence of Chinese culture in the 80's and 90's. As he began collecting more and more of these negatives, a mission emerged for Sauvin, to rescue these forgotten photographs and give them new life. In a conversation with Thomas, he referred to the images as having been "rescued" and "adopted", speaking of them as a parent who adopted a child and gave them a new chance at life.

Using his artistic eye and passion for storytelling, Sauvin began to curate these discarded photographs into his Beijing Silvermine Archive, each one telling a unique story. Beijing Silvermine now encompasses over 850,000 anonymous photographs, making it one of the largest archival projects in China. 

As an extension of the archive, Thomas created more specific works. One of those works was Until Death Do Us Part, a cigarette-shaped photo book encompassing a range of different photos, most of which includes cigarettes being smoked at Chinese weddings, cigarette smoking games, and brides lighting attendees cigarettes. The images he rescues are not just photographs, but artifacts of human connection, capturing the fleeting moments of love and happiness that exist in all our lives.

Sauvin's work is a poignant reminder that every photograph has a story to tell, and even the most seemingly insignificant images can have tremendous value. By rescuing these discarded photographs, Sauvin has given them a new lease on life and opened up a window into Chinese culture that might have otherwise been lost forever.

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1 comment

Until Death Do Us Part is one of the most thought and and well designed books I’ve ever seen. I love it

Matt Ebrani

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