In 2009, the Beijing-based archivist and artist Thomas Sauvin salvaged over half a million discarded negatives from a recycling plant on the outskirts of the city. Sauvin processed, archived, and curated selections of these photographs in a project called Beijing Silvermine. The images were taken between 1985 and 2005, a period of tremendous social and economic change in mainland China, as well as the height of consumer film photography in the region.
From 2011 to 2012, a collaboration between Sauvin and the Chinese animator Lei Lei led to the creation of RECYCLED, an experimental video work that animates over 3000 of the Beijing Silvermine photos, reconstructing anonymous memories of place and personal history in China over a 20 year timespan. Balagan has partnered with Crows & Sparrows, a film initiative that curates moving image works from East and Southeast Asia, to co-present a program that takes RECYCLED as its point of departure.
The program includes a selection of works from filmmakers who explore innovative formal approaches in their reconstructions of place and memory. Filmmakers Lei Lei, Hope Tucker, and Tzuan Wu will appear in person for Q&A.
RECYCLED, Lei Lei and Thomas Sauvin, 5m30, 2013, HD, China
HANDFUL OF DUST , Hope Tucker 9m, 2013, HD, US
7’, 2014, US/Taiwan
PALIMPSEST, Daniel Boos 9’, 2014, 16mm to HD, Canada
VERSES , James Sansing 4’, 2012, 35mm, US
SUMMER OF 1969, Cao Kai 8’, 2002, SD, China
REWARDS, Mariya Nikiforova 4’30, 2014, 16mm, US
TRAINS ARE FOR DREAMING, Jennifer Reeves, 7'00, 2009, 16mm, US
Selves No. 2 , Douglas Urbank 3’, 2014, 16mm, US