Jan 7, 2016 – Jan 6, 2017
This concept of urban symmetry photographs was inspired by the fascinating and remarkable architecture of the city of New York. 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.
BALANCE by Edi Chen
In late 2015 my fascination with symmetrical subjects began and I decided to embark on my year-long urban symmetry photography project called Balance. I took the first picture for this project on January 7, 2016, and continued daily through January 6, 2017. During this time I photographed 366 symmetrical subjects in and around New York City completing my project. 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 and 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 my work.
Some of these places were chosen through extensive research and others just by happenstance. At times I would have to revisit locations for the perfect shot and in doing so noticed that some buildings either changed or even disappeared upon my return. Looking closely at some of the photographs you can see these changes that occurred, such as a pigeon standing on a structure or missing bricks in a building. These “imperfections” reflect the realities of life and that which surrounds us.
All things exist and obey balance and New York City is no exception. We deliberately build symmetrical buildings and objects in pursuit of visual balance. At the same time, all forms of life that live in this city are both active and passive, quiet and restless, harmonious, opposite, past and future. We are influenced and affected by this city and are trying to build the balance we are searching for and in doing so have become part of it. We all share this city and its future.
Albert Einstein said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is.”
In Chinese culture, the mysterious yin and yang is another expression of balance. These two concepts create balance in life. Opposition, interdependence and reunification, all things come to be through the interaction of yin and yang.
Light is yang; dark is yin. 
Outside is yang; inside is yin. 
Up is yang; down is yin. 
Active is yang; still is yin. 
The Past is yang; future is yin… 
“The yin and yang, the way of heaven and earth.”