“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.
By Cesar Ordonez