UNTIL DEATH DO US PART / THOMAS SAUVIN
Beijing based French photo collector Thomas Sauvin’s publication Until Death Do Us Part uncovers a bizarre smoking tradition common at Chinese weddings. As part of the wedding celebration, one of bride’s duties is to light a cigarette for every man attending. After that, both the groom and the bride join the cigarette smoking game. Guests smoke cigarettes in the celebration of the newlyweds. The archive of images used for this project came from Thomas Sauvin's ongoing archival series "Beijing Silvermine."
“The quantity of images involved allowed me to tell not individual stories but something more universal..."
The project began, in 2009, when Sauvin, who has lived in China for more than a decade, discovered an accumulation of 35-mm. negatives in a recycling plant on the edge of Beijing. Buying the negatives in bulk by the kilogram, he has become a curator of what he calls vernacular Chinese photography. He estimates that he has sifted through more than half a million images, taken by ordinary citizens, between 1985 and the early aughts, that depict everyday life, leisure, and travel, both in China and abroad.