Patrick Nagatani

Chromatherapy (1978-2015)
ASG 2005


Anechoic Multi-Tonations - Southwest Museum Of Biology, University Of New Mexico, 2004

The Chromatherapy project, begun in 1978 while Nagatani was still living in Los Angeles, has occupied the artist in between other large projects for the past twenty-five years. The series of color photographs relate to the subject of chromatherapy, or "color healing." With roots in ancient Egypt and China, chromatherapy involves the belief that shining the rays from colored lamps on afflicted areas can cure diseased organs of the body. In contrast to conventional medicine's often aggressive, drug-oriented methods, chromatherapy offers a gentle, noninvasive cure for all kinds of illnesses.

Chromatherapy Primary Light Test, Beijing Institute Of Scientific Study, China, 2005

Reminding viewers that light is the basic tool of photography, Nagatani creates real and imaginary relationships between photography, light and healing, as he photographs persons, animals and objects being exposed to a variety of colored lights. The artist is also exploring popular culture's fascination with growth and healing, teasing the fine line between a staged fiction masking as a documented reality, and the undeniable need humans have to embrace magic and pagan rituals for their own sake.

Chromatic Chimera - Patrick At Pan Pacific Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, 1978

"The first page of my journal has this quote from Charles Dickens: 
'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going the other way - In short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.'

For me, the thoughts in much of my adult life has been a reoccurring theme of how history or past events should be constantly considered in making informed decisions that are relevant to the present. I would like to connect this thought in this statement with how my current research, Chromatherapy, has come to be."

Amelioration - Sexual Enhancement And Relaxation, 1978

"Much like how Dickens' prose from the 19th century is amazingly relevant today, there are times when an artist might revisit his own work from the past, however never completed, and find important issues to rejoin and flesh out in the present. Chromatherapy has been such a project."

Heinecken - Vision And Memory - Behind Every Good Man There Is A Solid Woman, 1978-2004

"In 1978, while living in Los Angeles, I found a small publication published in 1975 by Mary Anderson titled, Color Healing: Chromotherapy and How it Works. This began my interest and research into the practice of "colour healing". Mary Anderson in her introduction goes on to state, "Psychologically we are all affected by colour. This book explains a revolutionary new method of healing by which the rays of coloured lamps are applied to diseased organs of the body, with amazingly beneficial results.'"

Claire - Crown Chakra Decompression - Spectro-Chrome Institute Research Labaratory, 1978

"So for over a quarter of a century, I have gathered research on the "medical" practice of colored light healing. Influential in making some of my images has been the 1878 text of Edwin D. Babbitt, The Principles of Light and Color: The Classic Study of the Healing Power of Color. In the early 20th century, The Spectro-Chrome ideas of Dinshah P. Ghadiali are illustrated in his book Let There be Light. This information along with the writings of Faber Birren (Color Perception in Art), have fueled the initial images in this work. 

I am interested in the idea of color as a growth and healing tool. I am a storyteller and photography is a wonderful story telling tool. I think it is a time for me to embrace magic and pagan rituals. I need to seek alternatives. The idea of colored light as a non-evasive medical treatment, light over the body rather than the cutting into the body or the ingestion of drugs within the body might be a dream rather than reality, but perhaps some dreams should be reality. I love the light tool that Dr. Beverly Crusher uses in Star Trek to heal broken bones and any ailment. I am interested in making metaphorical colored art photographs that creatively haunt the viewer. 

In the Middle Ages, the great cathedrals of Europe had stained glass windows which were used in healing. When the ill were placed in the light from the windows many miraculous cures were recorded. The priests, of course, credited the Saints portrayed in the glass and not the colored light reaching the patients. Johannes Itten, one of the first color theorists stated, "Color is life, for a world without color seems dead. As a flame produces light, light produces color. As intonation lends color to the spoken word, color lends spiritually realized sound to a form."  All light is visible radiant energy and travels through space in forms of waves. It travels 186,000 miles per second in wave-lengths that vary in size and energy. As it travels, it also vibrates. Below thirty-two impulses per second vibration, this radiant energy is inaudible as well as invisible. The wave lengths of the electromagnetic spectrum range from waves less than a thousandth of a millimeter in length to some that are hundreds of miles long. Colors, light, and heat are thus related to wave-lengths. These waves vary in length and the individual variations are the basis of each color. When the wave-lengths are ultra short they become invisible, but color may still exist, even if it is not seen by the human eye. Unlike sound waves and ocean waves, light waves seem to need no material medium. They can travel through empty space. "

Esoteric Science - Sandia National Laboratory, New Mexico, 2004

"The current research for my docu-drama medical like images have taken me to discussions with botanists (pulsating colored lights on plants to increase photosynthesis) and biologists (Sliding Filament Theory of muscle structure) at my university as well as the readings in Cosmology: The Science of the Universe, by Edward Harrison."

Chromatic Conception - Sherlock, Melissa And Lily, Johnson, Vermont
Chromatic Depurate - Bridal Purification , 2005-2006

"I am intrigued with color healing and growth through colored rays because of the existence of duality between colored lights used in this ancient medical practice and the phenomena of light as the essence of photography and color as a translator of that essence in my life-long work as an artist. I am not a color healer, I am a color imagist. I am interested in making images that theatrically depict colored light healing and stated in frank terms, I am interested in creating cinematic narrative images that are medical like depictions of Chromotherapy. I have made a career of working in the directorial mode of artistic photography. With this work, I hope to juxtapose social, sexual, and political, issues along with new theories in anatomy, astronomy, biology, physics, and medicine, within the overlay of color and light as healing and growth mechanism, and color and light as photographic tool." []

Transmogrification - Biology Animal Research Facility (BARF), 2004

Emergent Behavior Modification - Simulated Natural Environment Laboratory, 2005

Evanne - Augmentation - Upamana Pramana, Beverly Hills, California, 1979

Exodus - Chromatic Contraception, 2005

Extensive Aura Balance, 1980-2004

Gender Decoding - Barbara And Francine, 1978

Growth Pulsation - Tomatoes - Diology Research Greenhouse University Of New Mexico, 2004

Harmonizing Marcus, 1978-2004

Lorna - Chromo Cosmetics - West Hollywood, California, 1978-2004

Marcus - Instant Cultural Vision - Chromatic Optometry, Los Angeles, California, 1978-2004

Mao - Kate - Dr. Nakamura - Muybridge - Sadie, 1979-2004

Neurological Stimulation - Spectro-Chrome Institute Research Laboratory, Malaga, 1978

Mr. Yoshitomi and Toki, 1978-2004

Multi-Tonation of Anomalies, 1979-2004

Oral Fixation - Scott And Kate - Culver City, California, 1978-2004

Post Orthopedic Surgery Chromo Rehabilitation, 2004

Ramon - Unintended Consequences, 1979-2004

Restoration Presoak In Chroma H20, 2004

Sliding Filament Theory - Micro Chromatic Healing, 2006

Substance Extrication - Venice, California, 1978-2004

Tap Water, Distilled H20, Vodka - Absorbing Chroma Rays, 2004

Terminal Digit Singularity, 1978

Tonation In Color Charged H20, 2004

Transmission, 1980-2004

Ryoichi And Sid [Cancer Survivor], 2005

Lorentz Transformations, 2007

Chemo-Chromo - Ryoichi At HOA (Hematology-Oncology Associates ), ABQ, NM, 2015