Leafing through each of Silvermine’s five tiny candy coloured photo albums feels like an intimate discovery. In this collection, Sauvin collates photographs salvaged from a recycling plant on the edge of Bejiing, where the negatives would ordinarily be doomed to filtration for their silver nitrate content. Each hand-crafted book folds out to display two themes, but it is the pink album in particular that stands out among them all. One side depicts a joyful celebration of people who never met, while the other displays an assortment of smiling couples, grandmothers and men of all ages and persuasions posing with sexually ambiguous, satin-clad showgirls. The photos are interesting in their peculiarity, but considered in their wider socioeconomic context, they also display the birth of post-socialist China. These are pictures of ordinary people having fun, consuming, enjoying western-influenced entertainment and even beginning to have the relative freedom and spending power to hormonally and surgically change their sex and bodies.
£150 (set of 5) / 20pp / June 2013
Reviewed by Holly Lucas
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