The exhibition Sea of Tranquillity by the internationally-renowned Belgian artist Hans Op de Beeck will open at Het Scheepvaartmuseum (The National Maritime Museum) in Amsterdam on 8 September 2018.

Sea of Tranquillity by Hans op de Beeck

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It portrays a mysterious and decadent imaginary cruise ship, dreamed up by the artist. The source of his inspiration for the installation was the shipyards of Saint Nazaire in western France, the birthplace of some of the world's largest cruise ships. 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) 

Sea of Tranquillity (film)
Hans Op de Beeck, 2010
Full HD video, colour, sound
29 minutes 50 seconds

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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.

Sea of Tranquillity, the Museum (exhibition view)
Hans Op de Beeck, 2010
circa 500 sq. m

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, and is regularly exhibited at museums and major international art events and festivals. Hans Op de Beeck still lives and works in his homeland of Belgium.

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. The spacious location in Amsterdam's gallery district serves as a platform for trendsetting contemporary art, and has hosted an impressive array of exhibitions over the past twenty years.

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