Ryan Holmberg

  • Sachiko Kazama, Dyslympics 2680, 2018, woodcut, 7'11 1⁄2" × 21'.

    Sachiko Kazama

    Printmaker Sachiko Kazama intended to exhibit works parodying links between sports and militarism at the Fuchu Art Museum last year under the rubric “Dyslympics,” but the museum convinced her to change that title, for as an institution operated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, it is officially committed to supporting the 2020 Games. When Kazama was invited to revisit the subject for a solo show at the Maruki Gallery for the Hiroshima Panels, a plucky private museum outside of Tokyo with tenacious lefty roots and a decades-long commitment to peace education, she took the opportunity to go

  • Tsubasa Kato, Black Snake, 2017, digital C-print, 17 3/4 x 24 5/8".

    Tsubasa Kato

    Tsubasa Kato’s work is typically described in the terms of socially engaged and community arts. This framing befits his iconic “Pull and Raise” series, 2007–, for which the artist recruited people to erect or topple symbolic architectural structures, including apartment rooms and a tsunami-destroyed lighthouse, with ropes and festive cheers. To some extent, it also applies to “(Drawing) Fractions of the Longest Distance,” his recent exhibition in two successive parts, which featured video documentation and performance artifacts from nine projects conducted between 2015 and 2017. Black Snake,

  • Moon Kyungwon & Jeon Joonho, On the Back Stage, 2017, ink-jet print, 24 3/4 x 33 7/8".

    Moon Kyungwon & Jeon Joonho

    Since teaming up in 2009, the Korean artists Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho have created a number of multimedia projects for high-profile venues such as Documenta and the Venice Biennale, dealing with utopia and dystopia in a nebular and speculative mode. Their recent exhibition, “Freedom Village,” engaged more concretely with history and the vagaries of memory. The visual centerpiece of the installation was an eponymous twelve-minute movie (all works 2017). Enigmatic and well-crafted, it opens inside a 1950s-style mad-scientist laboratory, where a frizzy-haired man is busy constructing miniature

  • View of “Takahiro Iwasaki,” 2017. Foreground: Out of Disorder (Structure of Light), 2017. _Background: Out of Disorder (Frame), 2017. Photo: Keizo Kioku.

    Takahiro Iwasaki

    When the power went out in 2011, the lights went on for Takahiro Iwasaki. He had been building tiny transmission towers out of towel and blanket fibers, and coal-fired power stations and oil refineries out of dirty cleaning rags, and was considering doing something on the Chernobyl catastrophe when events in Fukushima forced him to ponder Japan’s energy infrastructure more deeply. Some of the results of Iwasaki’s curiosity appeared in the Japanese Pavilion of the 2017 Venice Biennale, including a wraparound miniature representation of an industrial waterfront backed by hills of store-bought

  • Rupali Patil, Eco-echo, 2014, watercolor on paper, 42 × 59".

    Rupali Patil

    Clark House Initiative frequently hosts shows dealing with Mumbai in historical and contemporary perspective, often with a view to the life and culture of the marginalized peoples whose labor drives the city. Rupali Patil’s debut solo show, “Everybody Drinks but Nobody Cries,” continued this tradition. Working with whimsical metaphors in drawings, watercolors, sculptures, and sound, Patil creates oneiric worlds out of the contradictions of “development” in Mumbai and Maharashtra, the massive and largely rural state of which Mumbai is the capital.

    Sleeping and the physical sensations associated

  • Shambhavi Singh, Rehat/Water Garland, 2014, iron, rust, 47' × 2' 7“ × 6”.

    Shambhavi Singh

    Poor, illiterate, lawless, caste-discriminatory Bihar is every Indian’s stereotype of rural backwardness. Yet today the state is touted as a shining example of economic development, which is greater than in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat. But problems remain deep, and out-migration high. And when migrants arrive in India’s metropolises looking for work, a so-called anti-Bihari sentiment offers them a cold welcome.

    Shambhavi Singh, a native of Bihar based in New Delhi, has for many years been exploring the plight of the Bihari farmer in her work. Her preference has been for

  • Shambhavi Kaul, Scene 32, 2009, 16-mm film and HD video, color and black-and-white, sound, 5 minutes.

    Shambhavi Kaul

    Shambhavi Kaul seems endlessly enchanted with the idea that extraterrestrials are just an Orbitz booking away. Though her work has been shown internationally at events and platforms including the BFI London Film Festival, this exhibition, “Lunar State,” was Kaul’s first solo gallery show. It comprised three short videos (including transfers from film) and one set of five digital prints. Titled Planet, 2014, the prints each feature an identical image seemingly taken from an in-flight magazine and tinted a radioactive brass—whether one is looking at clouds, rocks, a gasoline explosion, or

  • Comic from Chaitanya Modak’s Dharavi Biennale workshop posted on the streets of Kumbharwada, Mumbai, June 2013.

    Dharavi Biennale

    Dedicated to the improvement of women’s and children’s health in Mumbai’s informal settlements, the Society for Nutrition, Education, and Health Action, an NGO, has over the past two years organized workshops and exhibitions pairing Dharavi residents with mentor artists and health advocates under the auspices of the Dharavi Biennale. The project is not only SNEHA’s biggest art endeavor to date; it is one of the largest ever art-activism enterprises in a country teeming with such activity. This resulting exhibition, titled “Alley Galli Biennale,” will

  • Gagan Singh, Untitled, 2010, ink on paper, 21 1/2 × 29 1/2".

    Gagan Singh

    If you hadn’t guessed from his name, Gagan Singh is Sikh. And as you may know from Bollywood, the Sikh alpha male is a widely parodied stereotype in India, not least among Sikhs themselves. More than a few of the works (all Untitled) in Singh’s debut solo show, “Line Bombs,” exploit this familiar joke. Most numerous were a series of diminutive pen drawings from 2014, somewhere between David Shrigley and Dilbert, that depict a bigheaded, turbaned Singh boasting about things that are hardly worth mentioning—his love of butter chicken, his dumpy Maruti car, the greatness of his upstanding

  • Desire Machine Collective, Noise Life 1, 2008–14, partition, HD video (color, sound, 32 minutes 6 seconds). Installation view, Project 88.

    Desire Machine Collective

    Hailing from Assam in strife-ridden northeast India, Desire Machine Collective has participated in shows at premier venues such as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin, and Paris’s Palais de Tokyo, and has taken part in the Venice Biennale. The group’s first major exhibition in its home country wasa two-venue multimedia exhibition, “Noise Life.” Inspired by Deleuze and Guattari’s schizoanalysis and characterized as “a sensory auto-ethnography marked by ghastly alertness of the senses to a violent world outside,” it was reportedly six years in the making.

  • Roshan Chhabria, Weight of a Brain (detail), 2013, watercolor on paper, 22 1/2 x 31".

    Roshan Chhabria

    “Just what is it,” asked Roshan Chhabria via cut-up text pasted on a wall in his debut solo exhibition, “that makes today’s Mothers so different so appealing?” Just above this cheeky question—a revised quotation from Richard Hamilton—were three graphite-and-watercolor drawings, all dated 2011, depicting an upper-middle-class Indian housewife engaged in stereotypical activities. She works out with a personal trainer. She lounges in bed watching a soap opera while instructing a servant. In a pink-and-ocher dress and with two children in tow, she plods down the runway of a “mother and

  • Asim Waqif, Urban Ruin at Ashram Chowk #1, 2013, digital C-prints, ink-jet print, wood, MDF, aluminum, 48 x 84 x 6".

    Asim Waqif

    In full gear after a well-received show at the Palais de Tokyo in 2012, Asim Waqif returned to New Delhi with “ख़लल [Disruptions],” a show focusing on works addressing widespread dysfunction in the city’s urban planning and waste management. Waqif has sometimes used the buzzword “upcycling” to describe his working method: He appropriates and manipulates trash as well as humble functional objects in order to turn them into something of greater value, both monetary and symbolic. His upcycled works include cavernous installations, such as the one at the Palais de Tokyo, “Bordel Monstre” (Monster