MEMORIES OF CHINA
Director(s): Emiland GUILLERME – Writer(s): Emiland GUILLERME Contact Print page
In Beijing, French artist and collector Thomas Sauvin saved from destruction nearly a million anonymous negatives dating from the early 1980s - when film photography became accessible to a large part of the population - to the advent of digital in the 2000s.
This exceptional archive offers us an unexpected glimpse of the daily lives of hundreds of families from the urban middle classes during China’s thirty-year post-Mao economic boom. A time that was rich in social, economic and cultural upheavals, seen from the point of view of ordinary people.
Some of these photographs have gained historical value over time; others offer the poetry of fleeting moments. Their overall power, though, resides in their mundane quality, drawing us closer to these strangers who seem to look right back at us… A unique opportunity of showing China like it hasn’t been shown before, of telling the history of a rather secretive country by looking through the keyhole, especially during the period of opening up the country.
…a period in the history of China takes shape through the daily lives of its people.
It offers the possibility of seeing the interiors, the intimacy of families, what we sometimes try to approach when traveling, but which often remains inaccessible to us. (Marie-Joëlle Gros , Télérama - 10/02/22)