Few places are as comfortable with architectural variety as New York, a city that boasts one of the liveliest mixtures of buildings in the world. As a trained architect, I’m inspired by the ways in which museums, libraries, transportation stations, theaters, and their associated built spaces shape the city and its residents’ lives. For this reason, Inside Out combines both the exteriors and interiors of important New York City buildings in a single image.

My choice of buildings was based on three factors: the importance of the building in architectural history; the role that the building plays in the city at present; and the suitability of the building to presenting both its exterior and interior in a meaningful and understandable way. These two perspectives were merged with meticulous photographic compositing techniques, but the idea was inspired by the way architectural drawings use perspective section to represent both exterior and interior. This combined view allows architects to capture the three-dimensional space within a two-dimensional drawing.

While architecture’s exteriors shape a city’s urban landscape, its interiors reflect its residents’ lives. In using this approach, Inside Out aims to give viewers a unique humanistic perspective on New York City’s historical and contemporary landmarks.

Artist Bios

  • Xi Chen

    Xi Chen is an architectural photographer based in Hangzhou and New York. With a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Zhejiang University, he earned his Master’s in Digital Photography from New York’s prestigious School of Visual Arts, receiving the Paula Rhodes Memorial Award for Exceptional Achievement in Digital Photography. Chen’s photography and videography, draw on his experience as a Class 1 Registered Architect in his native China, have been included in exhibitions at New York’s annual Photoville Festival and the Venice Biennale of Architecture, and featured in publications such as Chinese Photographer magazine, CNN and The Guardian. As an adjunct lecturer, he teaches Architectural Photography at Zhejiang University City College. His professional background in both architecture and photography allows him to bring a unique and humanistic perspective to the built environment.


  • Photoville


    Founded in 2011 in Brooklyn, NY, Photoville was built on the principles of addressing cultural equity and inclusion, which we are always striving for, by ensuring that the artists we exhibit are diverse in gender, class, and race.

    In pursuit of its mission, Photoville produces an annual, city-wide open air photography festival in New York City, a wide range of free educational community initiatives, and a nationwide program of public art exhibitions.

    By activating public spaces, amplifying visual storytellers, and creating unique and highly innovative exhibition and programming environments, we join the cause of nurturing a new lens of representation.

    Through creative partnerships with festivals, city agencies, and other nonprofit organizations, Photoville offers visual storytellers, educators, and students financial support, mentorship, and promotional & production resources, on a range of exhibition opportunities.

    For more information about Photoville visit,

  • NYC Parks

    NYC Parks

    NYC Parks is the steward of more than 30,000 acres of land — 14 percent of New York City — including more than 5,000 individual properties ranging from Coney Island Beach and Central Park to community gardens  and Greenstreets. We operate more than 800 athletic fields and nearly 1,000 playgrounds, 1,800 basketball courts, 550 tennis courts, 65 public pools, 51 recreational facilities, 15 nature centers, 14 golf courses, and 14 miles of beaches. We care for 1,200 monuments and 23 historic house museums. We look after 600,000 street trees, and two million more in parks. We are New York City’s principal providers of recreational and athletic facilities and programs. We are home to free concerts, world-class sports events, and cultural festivals.

Inside Out

 archive : 2023

Featuring: Xi Chen

Curated by: Xi Chen

Presented by: Photoville
  • Photoville
  • NYC Parks


View Location Details Old Fulton Street and Prospect Street

Old Fulton Street and Prospect Street
DUMBO, Brooklyn 11201

Number 57 on the official photoville map Click to download this year's map

This location is part of Brooklyn Bridge Park
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