Q&A: Bharat Sikka


Have you recently been living by any life philosophy? Wabi-sabi. What will baffle future generations about our day and age? Emotions. Are you aware of any conspiracies? Many. What is it that interests you about photography? I like to communicate through pictures. What is the worst thing about city life? I love city life. It keeps me excited. What part of the planet would you like to explore? Earth’s core. What do you think is the most plausible of the supernatural? Afterlife. If you had to align yourself with a leader in history, who would it be? Gautam Buddha. Pick a field of science to be an expert within. Technological singularity. Choose a job you would be willing to do for free on the side. I would like to do a job on the side that would pay me. Describe the most important photo you’ve seen. Seen too much to give importance to any one photo anymore. How often do you take other people’s advice? All the time. Describe a personal hell. I’m going through it. Which living person do you most admire? I think my daughter, but my twins are cute too, and my wife is gorgeous. On what occasion do you lie? On most occasions. What is the best way to educate yourself? To travel, read and explore life. What is the next book you want to read? Kafka on the Shore. Ultimate camera? Linhof 4×5. Most used camera? Linhof 4×5. What object do you want? A real light saber. What object do you need? A shelf. How would you explain the internet to someone from the 1950’s? A social encyclopaedia. Are you satisfied with your level of physical strength? Not at all. Are impulses more important than consequences? Impulses are exciting and consequences are boring. Which talent would you most like to have? I wish I had the talent to invent things. What is your plan for the next 24 hours? Make a zine with the new photographs that I’ve clicked.

The state of Kashmir holds a mythic place in the mind of India. Long known as one of the world’s most beautiful mountain valleys, since the late 1980s it has become synonymous with a political and sectarian conflict which strikes at the very heart of India’s identity. Delhi-based Sikka travelled throughout Kashmir in 2014 and 2015, to attempt to make some sense of this troubled region through his own personal experience. Taking inspiration from Mirza Waheed’s novel The Collaborator, which tells the story of a young Kashmiri man’s struggle with his own sense of self buffeted by the exigencies of history and the present, the resulting project is a meditation on the rich, green landscape and those who have lived and struggled within it.

Bharat Sikka (1973, New Delhi) studied at Parsons School of Design, and lives between Europe and India. Documenting contemporary visions of India, recent exhibitions include Reimagine for Photoworks/Brighton Photo Biennial 2016, and Where the flowers still grow at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016 and Nature Morte in 2017. His work has been exhibited at the National Museum in New Delhi; Project 88 and Chatterjee & Lal in Mumbai; Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland; Whitechapel Gallery, London; ICP, New York; Unseen, Amsterdam; and the Arles Photo Festival. His book Matter was shortlisted for the 2017 First Book Award. He is represented by Nature Morte in India.

To see more of Bharat Sikka’s work visit — Website / Instagram. ‘Where the flowers still grow’ is available now through U.K. Publishing house Loose Joints and you can pick up a copy through — loosejoints.biz