Project info

“Ashimoto” is a polysemic term, which in Japanese means "around the feet," among other senses. This title, as if it were another work of the project, allows multiple interpretations. As many as viewers, as many as the megalopolis itself.

Apparently may seem just a aesthetic proposal. Nothing could be further from the truth. "Ashimoto" series is an approach to the concept of intimacy (which I’ve developed also in others projects) into a great city like Tokyo. Through the fragility, the sensitivity and the beauty that convey the legs of Japanese girls who I’ve portrayed. In opposition to the gigantic and intimidating dimensions of the enormous city where they live: A huge scenario full of infinite layers that overlap and interact with each other. In a symbolic way, the deliberate mixture of photos of this series (color or black and white, static or moving), and their multiple readings, intends to be a metaphor of those uncountable layers.

In these pictures taken on the streets of Tokyo, I establish an intimate and respectful connection with the photographed subjects. I like to highlight their intimacy despite being made in public spaces. There are some "stolen photos" and also pictures that were permitted. But in both cases I prefer to define them as "found photographs”. All women who have participated –always by casual encounters on the street– did so selflessly. And although some of them were aware that they were being photographed, no scene was prepared beforehand.
Tokyo and beauty as inspiration. Metonymy as a visual language. Intimacy as a leitmotiv. I’ve deliberately chosen a different way to portray: Showing just a part for the whole. The hidden part will have to be completed by the viewer. As Japanese philosophy of life does often, leaving topics open to interpretation of the interlocutor.




To designate the reality, Buddhism uses the word Sunya, which means empty. It is also the name given to the number zero. The observer fills the reality that without their presence would be empty, in the same way that the mathematician can’t work without a number: the zero, a kind of antithesis of a number. The photographer César Ordóñez proposes us an approach to Japanese reality from ashimoto term, which could translate as a part of a foot of a woman who is intuited through the folds of a kimono. But in fact ashimoto is a polysemic concept. It can also refer to the foot, or to a part of the foot. As the same way, the images that shows this artist has many connotations: suggest more than they show, and show just what we need to get an idea of where they come from and where are going the photographed subjects.

Based on the concept of stolen photography and after a meticulous work in Japan in recent years, César Ordóñez get different things. First, create a clear and distinguishable style, and second, to have a discourse that tells us something new, and ultimately, explains a story. We are used that photographers who got their own style. Indeed, this is one of the goals pursued by most schools of photography. Unfortunately the own style, as an ultimate and unique goal, it remains a kind of Sunya, a kind of vacuum, which only the artist can fill with a creative discourse.

by Màrius Domingo


The sensuality cannot plot, and this is why the bombardment of advertising images that haunts us daily leaves us more and more indifferent. César Ordóñez went to Tokyo in the hope of capturing a real and natural eroticism. Serene and intimate. Authentic. The series of photographs in black and white and colour, are like a box of sensuality pills. In that images appears women's feet, shod feet and decorated with elegance and fantasy, without falling into the exuberance. Evoking an unsophisticated glamour, a tender and mysterious beauty, next and inaccessible at the same time. There are stolen photographs, but also, many allowed photographs. The authenticity is imposed: each foot has the value also for its imperfections.

by Maria Palau

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© Cesar Ordoñez

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