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 I’ve developed in Tokyo since 2007, a city with which I have a close relationship for years. Through images in black and white, mostly of them at night, and often close to abstraction, I show a mysterious, sensual, rainy and “blurred” Tokyo. Blur which has a metaphorical intention.

Symbolically, this series of photographs attempts to capture those moments when we’re out of our regular environment, “out of focus”, removed from everyday routine and stress.

Usually, in our everyday life, we try to control everything around us. On the contrary, when we're far from our cultural references, without understanding many of things surrounding us, we can realize that trying to control our life is impossible. Better live it.

Perhaps it’s just a paradox, but that’s my feeling every time I go in my beloved Tokyo. There are many situations “out of focus” around me: customs, behaviors, some conversations... However, that fact, allows me a better understanding about myself and my own life.

Recently, 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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