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Since 2009, French photographer and archivist Thomas Sauvin has amassed over 500,000 discarded photos, buying negatives by the kilo from a chemical recycling plant in Beijing, where he is based.

Curating the photographs as part of his Beijing Silvermine project Sauvin began to collate a sub-series of images depicting close to two decades of a fast-dating Chinese wedding custom in which a bride lights a cigarette for every man in attendance as a show of appreciation  before participating in a series of smoking games with the groom.

While you probably wouldn’t imagine punching ciggies with your entire wedding party would make for some candid and intimate viewing, the photos in the series show plenty of that, as well as serving as an interesting time capsule piece of Chinese culture and lifestyle at the time.

The series is depicted in Sauvin’s book ‘Until Death Do Us Part‘ which is available now on Kominek Books.


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