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British artist at sea with Hanjin Shipping

23 days at sea

Winning a residency programme is often a milestone in a young artist’s career. When Royal College of Art MA sculpture student Rebecca Moss won a residency programme from Vancouver’s Access Gallery, that sounded like a huge opportunity. The residency, entitled 23 Days at Sea, involves sailing in a container ship from Vancouver to Shanghai – a journey that normally takes 23 days.

The vessel left Vancouver on 23 August and was due to dock in Shanghai in time for Chuseok, today.

Hanjin container ship
By Flickr user Ingrid Taylar –, CC BY 2.0,

Unfortunately the vessel is operated by Hanjin Shipping, which filed for bankruptcy on 31 August. It is currently stranded off the coast of Japan, waiting to figure out which port is prepared to welcome them, with bills at risk of not being paid. A likely candidate is Busan.

Moss is trying to keep a positive outlook on her situation: “I really value being out here, in the world, in a difficult situation that has helped me understand how these systems really work.”

Hope the situation gets resolved speedily.

Hanjin Shipping is in the same chaebol as Korean Air, who are attempting to arrange funding. The Vancouver Sun is keeping in touch with her and has a series of articles.


Update: The vessel, the Hanjin Geneva, was permitted to dock in Tokyo on 17 September and Moss finished her slightly extended residency.

Update 2: the artist has posted a shortened version of a video work, International Waters, she prepared during her journey

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