Last month, I received a commission from a thrift collector who wanted me to use traditional darkroom enlargement techniques to help him enlarge a batch of rare negatives taken by a photographer in Shanghai during the Cultural Revolution.
- The Cultural Revolution, formally known as the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, was a sociopolitical movement in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) launched by Mao Zedong in 1966, and lasting until his death in 1976. Its stated goal was to preserve Chinese communism by purging remnants of capitalist and traditional elements from Chinese society, and to re-impose Mao Zedong Thought as the dominant ideology in the PRC. The Revolution marked the return of Mao, who was Chairman of the Communist Party of China (CPC), to the central position of power after a period of less radical leadership to recover from the failures of the Great Leap Forward, which caused the Great Chinese Famine (1959–1961). However, the Revolution failed to achieve its main goals. — From Wikipedia
These are digital archives scanned from films:
Put the pile of negatives I got into a negative bag. Go into my simple darkroom to get to work.
Contact sheet means to exposure adter laminating film and paper together to produce multiple 1:1 size prints on a single sheet of paper. Just like viewing thumbnails in the file manager.
Although the film is heavily curled due to its age, the contents and shading of the film are well preserved. I used Lekai #3 (medium high contrast) photo paper to enlarge. Here are the results.