Yang Jun takes Alain Resnais’s film Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959) as a reference and starting point of The Age of Guilt and Forgiveness. When commissioned to make a documentary on the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Resnais instead invited Maguerite Duras to write a screenplay for a romantic film dealing with the issues of memory and the trauma of Hiroshima. The Age of Guilt and Forgiveness is an attempt to look at history, particularly the burden of history in the context of contemporary Japan’s position, more than seventy years after the end of WWII. Mainly shot in the city of Hiroshima, this film stages a conversation between two lovers to comment on twentieth-century Japanese history and Japan’s role in a changed geopolitical situation. It also addresses the question of guilt—personal and collective guilt of the present and the past—and the idea of forgiving in a relationship, in national and in personal history.
Yang Jun is an artist based in Vienna, Taipei and Yokohama. His works encompass various media, including, film, installation, performance and projects in public spaces, and address institutions, societies and audiences. In his artistic work Yang Jun, who grew up and has lived in various cultural contexts, examines the influence of clichés and media images of identity politics.
His previous exhibitions include the Gwangju Biennale 2012, the Taipei Biennial 2008, the Liverpool Biennial 2006, the 51st Biennale di Venezia 2005 and the Manifesta 4 in 2002. He is the recipient of the 25th Otto Mauer Art Award. In 2007 he moved to Taipei to focus on working on a short film, A Short-Story on Forgetting and Remembering. He is also one of the founders of Taipei Contemporary Art Centre, which developed following a project he initiated at the Taipei Biennial 2008. In 2015, The Monograph Project, a monograph in six volumes, was published in by Jovis, Germany.