Some people seem glamorous, Some people seem lonely.
Some people talk about fashion, Some people are making history.
Four seasons in one year.
One city. One person. One camera.
It was a cloudy day on July 15, 2016: New York City Center has existed for centuries, on Broadway, only a few blocks from Times Square. It's Manhattan’s first performing arts center and is built in a Neo-Moorish style. Ten Islamic arches shape the front doors, accented by ten pillars and ten windows. The gray brick stripes the street like a timeline. I stood opposite this facade and set up my camera. At that very moment a woman was walking and talking on the phone right into her picture. I waited until she was positioned in the middle of the door and pressed the shutter. This is one of my many New York images, taken over 366 days, one photo a day. Symmetry was created by black and white and are both active and still, modern and historical. I call them “Balance.” They include 228 images of buildings, 51 images of landmarks, 38 images of subway photographs, 38 images of subtleties, 33 strangers, and 11 images of bridges.
I decided to embark on a year long urban symmetry photography project. I took the first picture for this project on January 7, 2016 and continued daily through January 6, 2017 - 366 symmetrical subjects in and around New York City. I focused on diverse structures and perspectives of architecture as well as different views of the city enhanced by mood, harmony, proportion and balance. Each day I traversed the city, going from neighborhood to neighborhood, including all five boroughs, in search of symmetrical beauty. On these daily shoots I had to be prepared for weather, lighting or any other random occurrence which either hindered or helped the work.
Everyone has their own idea of New York ... what makes this city great? New York is a place where scenes, images and events can appear at any time. I felt a calling and noticed how the environment where we live is ever changing. I explored the city and visited countless buildings, subways, museums, bridges and historical landmarks. Some of these places were chosen through extensive research and others just by happenstance.
- Edi Chen
Edi Chen grew up in a city with three thousand years of history. She loved to wait for sunset on top of Jingshan Park (north of the Forbidden City) when the bell tower chimes loud and clear, and the pigeons take flight over the city's rooftops. The walls there are brick red and drab grey, and the four seasons are separate and distinct.
She is passionate about photographing symmetrical objects, particularly in architecture, and loves to capture that which catches not only her eye but her soul. Her journey with photography began in 2002, gravitating towards symmetry she photographed scenes at random in the world around her and during travels. Edi’s version of photography is a way of finding herself, to extract beauty from ordinary subjects and places. The best way for her to express this dreamlike, surreal and abstract black and white world is by using long exposure photography. She created the symmetrical portfolio by capturing particular and expressive details of historical landmarks and unique urban buildings in her year long quest for this one of a kind collection.