The exhibition Sea of Tranquillity by the internationally renowned Belgian artist Hans Op de Beeck opens at Het Scheepvaartmuseum in Amsterdam on 8 September 2018. It portrays a mysterious and decadent imaginary cruise ship, dreamed up by the artist.
The shipyards of Saint Nazaire in western France, the birthplace of some of the world's largest cruise ships, formed the source of his inspiration for the installation. The mysterious Sea of Tranquillity will be on show at Het Scheepvaartmuseum until 9 June 2019. This highly-acclaimed exhibition has made its way around Europe, having previously been on show at museums in Belgium, France, Switzerland, and Spain.
‘Hans Op de Beeck is well-known around the world for his captivating installations, immersing visitors in a romantic yet eerie atmosphere.’ (Le Monde newspaper, France)
‘This is set to be the most entrancing five-star exhibition of the spring, possibly even the whole year.’ (De Huisarts, medical newspaper, Belgium)
An enigmatic image of a mythical cruise ship
Sea of Tranquillity is an installation that immerses visitors in its own intriguing world. It features a fiction film with no dialogue and an exhibition including an illuminated model ship, lifelike sculptures, display cases, and furniture. It presents a dark, mysterious picture of a mythical cruise ship. The atmospheric film draws in audiences, making them feel part of life on board a ship that doesn't exist... at least, not yet. Together, the film and the exhibition present a vision of the future that evokes both admiration and disgust.
Desire, tedium, and spectacle
Sea of Tranquillity presents a vision of the future of cruise liners and the world around them. The Sea of Tranquillity is a fictitious cruise ship that forms a microcosm of society at large. In this miniature world of spectacle and lawlessness, desire and tedium vie alternately for the attention of the passengers on board the decadent ship. While the crew – governed by a strict hierarchy – work busily behind the scenes to satisfy all the passengers’ needs and whims, the passengers themselves while away the hours and days with massages at the spa, restaurant meals of molecular cuisine, and escort services. They can even undergo plastic surgery, and as a final act they can opt for a tailor-made funeral service on board.
Hans Op de Beeck
The multi-talented and multi-disciplinary artist Hans Op de Beeck (1969, Turnhout, Belgium) works with a range of different artistic expressions. Op de Beeck produces large-scale installations, sculptures, films, drawings, painting, and photographs. He also composed the music for Sea of Tranquillity. His work often reflects aspects of our complex society and universal themes associated with it, such as meaning and mortality. Hans Op de Beeck lives and works in Belgium, and his work is regularly exhibited in museums and at major international art events and festivals.
Cabinet of Curiosities exhibition by Hans Op de Beeck, on show at Galerie Ron Mandos
Galerie Ron Mandos, an art gallery on Prinsengracht in Amsterdam, will be hosting the exhibition Cabinet of Curiosities by Hans Op de Beeck, opening at the same time as the Sea of Tranquillity exhibition at Het Scheepvaartmuseum. The exhibition comprises a series of display cases filled with cultural and natural-historical curiosities, and is open until 27 October 2018. Galerie Ron Mandos was the first gallery to represent Op de Beeck in the Netherlands. Over the past two decades, the gallery has hosted an impressive programme of exhibitions. The spacious location in Amsterdam's gallery district serves as a platform for trendsetting contemporary art.
Het Scheepvaartmuseum, housed in a beautiful historic building dating from 1656, shows how water brings worlds together. The museum showcases a wide range of impressive masterpieces and artefacts. Its collection is considered by experts to be one of the finest maritime collections in the world. In addition to exhibitions with a historical character, the museum exhibits work by contemporary international artists and designers by the collection and exhibitions of Het Scheepvaartmuseum These reflective works inspire both visitors and the museum itself, demonstrating once again that maritime history is still relevant today. The museum draws approximately 350,000 visitors every year, putting it among the top ten Amsterdam museums and making it a major attraction for both Dutch and international tourists.