"RECYCLED" A TRIBUTE TO FORGOTTEN FILM NEGATIVES

 

Filmmaker Lei Lei worked side by side French collector Thomas Sauvin  to produce an animation that showcased hundreds of anonymous lives in Beijing. Sauvin had been collecting over half a million 35mm negatives for his "Silvermine" project which is a unique photographic portrait of these forgotten negatives. Lei Lei selected 3,000 of these negatives that spanned from the 1980's to the early 2000's and collaborated with Sauvin to produce an intimate piece of art named "Recycled".

We were lucky enough to get Lei Lei's artist statement on the project:

 "During the scanning process, I started to notice how this massive collection of damaged or damped negatives has some very unique colors and a sense of beauty that is totally unexpected. There also seemed to be many interesting connections between all these photographs taken by different people at different times. For instance, many people would take group shots in front of the Tiananmen Square or McDonald’s. Or they would have specific pose and facial expression when taking photos at tourist spots, or when taking family portraits on the couch. I then thought perhaps I could relate these photos through some kind of thematic connection, and turn them into a movie or an animation. After all, had we not discovered these half a million photos, perhaps no one would ever get a chance to see them again, that is why we’d named this animation project Recycled. " 

Here is the full film:

If you'd like to learn more about Thomas Sauvin's "Silvermine" project, here's Emiland Guillerme's documentary on it:

View more of Lei Lei's work here, and follow Sauvin's ongoing project here