With great sadness, Metro Art shares the news of the passing of artist Patrick Nagatani. His 1995 artwork Epoch, located on the third floor of Metro Headquarters, addresses the idea of transportation from an individual to a global perspective, reminding us that transportation begins and ends with each human being.
In the artist’s own words, “From the dawn of mankind, the center of transportation has been with man himself. Whether walking, encased in transport systems, or ‘beamed’ to distant places, it is the mind and body of man that imagines, invents, and travels.”
Patrick Nagatani: Living in the Story, a documentary highlighting Nagatani’s life and art practice, is scheduled to be released in 2018. Nagatani’s recently published novel, The Race: Tales of Flight, depicts a race between women pilots flying restored Supermarine Spitfire airplanes after discovering them buried in Burma at the end of World War II.
According to Densho Encyclopedia: He was born on August 19, 1945, in Chicago, Illinois, mere days after the atomic bomb explosions in Nagasaki and Hiroshima, where his father’s family lived. His parents, John and Diane Nagatani, were imprisoned in different camps during World War II and relocated separately to Chicago, where they met, married and started a family, raising their son as a Catholic in a primarily Polish neighborhood in the Midwest. Following graduation from high school, he attended the University of California, Los Angeles, matriculating with his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1968 and his Masters of Fine Arts in 1980, again from UCLA. While a graduate student in photography at UCLA in the late 1970s, Nagatani and two other graduate students collaborated on an exhibition and book project juxtaposing the work of two photographers who had recorded Manzanar during World War II: Ansel Adams and Toyo Miyatake. The exhibition/book, Two Views of Manzanar, was an early indication of his interest in the concentration camps and his respect for the two photographers’ work, and was mounted at UCLA’s Frederick S. Wight Gallery in October 1977.