Agarwal is an artist, photographer, environmental campaigner, writer, and curator. In his art practice, he uses video, photography, installation, and public art to address questions of ecology, urban space, identity and capital in interrelated ways. As a campaigner he has worked passionately for change with regard to industrial waste and chemical pollution in India and is represented on a number of high-level policy committees. Agarwal’s writings on both art and issues of sustainability have been published extensively in books and journals, and his works are in several private and public collections.
Creations by Agarwal have been exhibited in solo, group, and museum shows all over India, and around the world, including in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Scotland, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States. These include the biennials of Havana (2019), Yinchuan (2018), Kochhi (2016), as well as Documenta XI. He curated the Serendipity Arts Festival in Goa (2018, 2019); Embrace the Rivers – DAMned Art, an exhibition of unfulfilled public art projects at the Goethe-Institut, Chennai (2018), the Chennai Photo Biennale (2016), which was co-curated with Munem Wasif, and the Yamuna-Elbe Pubic Art and Ecology project (2011).
Agarwal serves on art juries and committees and has been honored with the U.N. Special Recognition Award for Chemical Safety (2008), and the Ashoka Fellowship for social entrepreneurship (1997).
Agarwal was an attendee of the SPE / MNF Photo Education Symposium, 5-7.Jan.2020, in New Delhi.
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The Yamuna Project: Documentation of the Yamuna River Project with Atul Bhalla. 01.Mar.2007
Ravi Agarwal, Photographer Environmentalist by Kathryn Myers, Regarding India, 2012
Agarwal is founding director of Toxics Link, an Indian environmental NGO (nonprofit). The organization is responsible for campaigns to preserve Delhi's river and forests, and leads efforts to deal with India's chemicals and waste.