Tokyo Blur
Project info

“I'm in Tokyo. It's dark and raining. Everything blurs around me. The faces, lights, the times I’ve gone through. I feel myself fading away, losing control. I’m not worried, far from it: a sense of stillness, recognition and renewal flows through me. Beyond the first mists that hampered my sight, everything now comes limpid, crystal clear. I begin to tidy up my lifetime, trying to comprehend why I came here”.


TOKYO BLUR is the fourth project of César Ordóñez in Tokyo since 2007, a city with which he has a close relationship for years. Through black and white images, mostly of them at night and close to abstraction, he shows us a mysterious, sensual and "blurred" city. "Blur" intentionally metaphorical.

Symbolically, this series tries to capture those moments in which we are "out of focus", out of our usual environment, far from daily routine and stress. Usually, in our everyday life, we try to have everything under control. But when we move away from our cultural references, without understanding most of what sorround us, it’s easier to realize that to attempt to control life is impossible. Better to just live it.

"Perhaps it's just a paradox, but that’s is my feeling every time I go to my beloved Tokyo. There are many "out of focus" situations around me. However this fact, somehow, disconnects the ceaseless noise of the mind and allows me a better understanding of life, of the present."

In November 2014, I’ve published a photobook of this project. It can gets more information in


Rain. Night. Life. Japan. The encapsulation of what coexists between the internal and external noise, suspended in a time that provides rhythm and underpins human privacy. Textures. And all that revolving around a blur, which —as Cesar Ordoñez rightly emphasizes— is just the vehicle to realize that life, in many of its levels, is not in the hands of those who experience it, but the other way round.
In Tokyo Blur cherry blossoms sway unfocused while silk-thread looking petals cover the river, and close, very close, a heron balances the surrounding air. Ordoñez's work is the language of turnaround: blur fosters poetics, and symbols —Mount Fuji rising from its less visited side, diners blurred in a plastic fish tank, oblivious to the clarity around them and that they shall never touch— create landmarks along the way as the observer hikes uphill, from black to white, from what we can guess to what actually is, on a discovery journey. Tokyo Blur tenders a proposal of growth and craving for knowledge. It is a silent proposal of slow contemplation and closely individual process. It is a long route indeed: images count for what they are, but ensnare through the holes they show, inviting to reach out and touch, seeking that clarity which, most probably, we all desire to find in our own mirror.
If you wonder why we must approach Cesar Ordoñez’s Japanese universe, the answer is as obvious as the opposing pairs that underpin this Tokyo blur: "it’s not about approaching. It’s all about daring."

Alejandro Palomas


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