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Shibboleth - I peep the ocean through a hole of the torn cardigan

by Eiki Mori

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    Edition: 300


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    CD + Book design by Shin Akiyama / edition.nord


    Includes unlimited streaming of Shibboleth - I peep the ocean through a hole of the torn cardigan via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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The CD contains one long track.

The digital data[Edit for Bandcamp] is a re-edited version.


If the repeat of the sound is music, and the repeat of the voice is a song, this work asks the origin of music and song.

A voice that doesn't know what language it is in.
Unfamiliar intonations.
The language that is grammatically correct but doesn't make sense, Or syntax error.

But the Shibboleth is a secret word that can only be shared by those who understand the word.
Hence, it is impossible for those who do not belong to a particular community to understand it.

The language that has not been stripped of meaning, but have hidden meaning.

It may have been a word of hope for a comrade who was once in a crisis.

And maybe it's the voice that couldn't be the words of prayer.

But that voice may eventually turn into a song.

Hideaki Okamura [immeasurable: founder]


Comment by Eiki Mori [for the sound installation at KEN NAKAHASHI]

Mot de passe―Shibboleth

From the exhibition title - the word ‘Shibboleth’, what would you imagine?

The 15 shibboleths written down for this installation do not really stand for symbolic things or events. They are more of subtle emotions and feelings, or day-to-day sight of daily experience that pass by so easily, that haven’t even been verbalized yet.

I asked 25 friends with totally different backgrounds—ages, language, nationality, religious beliefs and sexualities— to choose their favorite phrase to recite.

Though the words emanated are unreliable and vulnerable for its unfamiliar language, they are also fresh and straightforward, like the babbling of a baby.

Many voices within us

All that could be done was to read each word with your heart, under the anxiety of not knowing how your imitation of the language and its pronunciation will be taken, or how much it would make sense. Their voices were recorded in such situations.

A secret word that consists of two verses with different depths of depiction, that comes back and forth in the flow of time throughout a day, or throughout a lifetime. By being uttered by an individual, and being responded like a self-interaction, the verses distinctly emerge with the existence of another time axis, the vividness of memory and emotion, the elaborateness, the ambiguity, and its voice…

And we find the presence of the many voices residing within us —the voices in the distant past, today and future that were swallowed before being uttered, the voices barely emitted but drowned out regardless, the voices of the cries let out with its prayers, and the voices gently cast on our loved ones.

Horizon of ‘sound’

Through the secret words, the various voices and languages are improvisationally traced, repeated and overlapped, and while its presence are emphasized, they quietly subside within the horizon of ‘sounds’.

Each of them resonate, sometimes repelling each other, but gradually connects in solidarity.

As words become voices, and then to sounds, its abstraction and anonymity is enhanced, but through accumulation and sharing rises an ‘intimate sound / open shibboleth’.

I would like you to experience the 'sound' that echoes through the space and your body, as if it is whispered into your ears, or called from the distant to you.

Eiki Mori

June, 2020



Eiki Mori was born in 1976 at Ishikawa prefecture. Graduated from The Photography Dept., Parsons The New School for Design in 2001. In 2014, he released intimacy, for which he received the most prestigious Kimura Ihei Award.

Some recent solo exhibitions are Family Regained (2017) and Letter to My Son (2018) at KEN NAKAHASHI, and group exhibition Things So Faint But Real -Contemporary Japanese Photography vol.15- (2018-2019) at Tokyo Photographic Art Museum.

Mori’s works are part of public collections, including SUNPRIDE FOUNDATION and Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, and have been collected by many individual collectors both in Japan and abroad.




released October 2, 2020

Original sound installation by Eiki Mori
Recorded by Eiki Mori with cooperation of Masami Baba
Mixing and Mastering by Masami Baba
Photographs of Installation view by Eiki Mori
CD + Book Design by Shin Akiyama, Keiko Miyahara / edition.nord
Published by immeasurable


Recording date: 14 July 2020
Recording location: KEN NAKAHASHI, Tokyo


© 2020 Eiki Mori

Eiki Mori


all rights reserved


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