EN - This fictitious cruise liner has been designed by Hans Op de Beeck, following a short residence at Saint-Nazaire in France in 2008, during which the artist became intrigued by the remarkable World War II story and post-war reconstruction of this harbour town, whose shipyards produce the world’s largest cruise liners. It seemed to the artist that the Queen Mary 2, then just completed was, like the Burj Khalifa in Dubai (the highest building in the world), a suitable metaphor for our belief in spurious values and in such concepts as work, leisure and luxury consumerism.


Title Sea of Tranquillity
Original title Sea of Tranquility
Original language English
Status Completed
Category Experimental
Year 2010


Cast Johan Leysen, Katelijne Verbeke, Leah Thys, Hubert Damen, Pascale Platel, Sandrine, Wim Opbrouck
Photography Maximiliaan Dierickx
Editing Jasper Lutin
Sound Sonogents, Jérôme Petit, Thomas Rouvillain
Music Hans Op de Beeck, Sam Vloemans

Technical specs

Running time film 29'50''
Release format HD, Blu-ray
Aspect ratio 16:9
Colour Colour


Supported by Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF), The National Centre of Visual Art - Ministry of Culture and Communication (F), Le Fresnoy - National Studio for Contemporary Arts (F), Emmanuelle and Michael Guttman


International FIlm Festival Rotterdam XL (2011, The Netherlands); Videoex (2011, Switzerland)

The floating world of Hans Op de Beeck

The artist Hans Op de Beeck works across all forms of media, combining painting and sculpture, photography and video. At the heart of his most recent work, Sea of Tranquillity, is a 30-minute film that takes us on a voyage into the night.

Text Ian Mundell

Still from Sea of TranquilitySea of Tranquillity has its origins in 2008, when Op de Beeck spent a short time as artist in residence in the French town of Saint-Nazaire. Situated on the Atlantic coast, it has a long tradition of ship building, most recently of massive ocean liners.

‘Initially I really didn't have a clue what I'd find in Saint-Nazaire,' he recalls. 'My simple plan was to go over there and see what the surroundings could bring me. Pretty fast I found that the cruise liner construction activity would be something to work with, since it says so much about how we construct preconceived, artificial, safe and tamed spaces, for example shopping malls and gated communities. The cruise liner is an archetype of how we stage life nowadays.'

Published on Friday 29 July 2011

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Last edited on 17 December 2015

Short info

Director Hans Op de Beeck
Producers Hans Op de Beeck
Writers Hans Op de Beeck

Studio Hans Op de Beeck
Stijn Maes
Birminghamstraat 287
1070 Brussels
T +32 (0)2 527 87 18
F +32 (0)2 527 58 19

Preferential partners