Elephants Laugh

ELEPHANTS LAUGH is a company based in Seoul, specialising in creating site specific performances with specific communities. Their works focus on extending the role that audiences have in performance by creating scenarios which require their active participation. Works like MULJIL often bring together artists from different genres, cultures, and disciplines to create their distinctive style of visual and experiential performance works.


Having toured to festivals in Italy, UK, Hungary, Denmark and South Korea, MULJIL is a stunning public performance that features four performers encased in glass tanks full of water. Working with performers from the local refugee community, this piece engages with concepts of isolation and alienation within urban routines.

Haenyeo (sea women) or female divers of Jeju Island, Korea, dive into the sea to gather various shellfish. The Korean word ‘muljil’ refers to their diving activities without equipment. It is understood that when diving into the deep water, each haenyeo endures a critical moment of breathlessness at least twice. Only those who are determined to risk their lives can overcome such brief moments of crisis. Haenyeo explain that they dive into the water to face death and then come out alive every day. The crossroads of life and death that haenyeo encounter when diving certainly exist in our daily lives.

For one reason or another, people come face to face with death. We owe much to those who endure the agony and hatred present in the world. Although separated like islands, we are all immersed in the same sea.

Director: Jinyeob Lee
Text: Jaeuk Shin
Performers: Geungho Nam, Hyunsung Seo, Aeri Lee, Jaeho Lee, Kijang Han
Costume designer: Kyungin Kim
Sound designer: Jimmy Sert
Lighting designer: Dongseon Shin
Tour manager : Bongmin Choi
Producer: Jisun Park

Supported by Wellington Community Trust, and Ethnic Communities Development.

Fund Commissioned by Ansan Street Arts Festival, Seoul Street Arts Creation Center
Supported by Arts Council Korea
Associated with Producer Group DOT
Supported by Asia New Zealand Foundation

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