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Bharat Sikka’s ‘The Sapper’ is as multi-layered as the relationship that it narrates between a father and an adult son. Through photography, Sikka creates the possibilities for observation, recollection, close comparison, and collaboration, and gives this long-term project a title that both describes and belies its substance. ‘The Sapper’ is an entitling that offers up a cue for the viewer: an explanation of the circumstances, behaviours, and predilections that we can read into the portrayal of this former “sapper” of the Indian Army Corps of Engineers. It suggests a double-edged understanding of this father—the push and pull of his sense of selfhood—as both held in his public, now-historical role, and despite of it. The title could be read as holding its subject at an observable distance and implies, perhaps, the urge of an adult child to adopt a vantage point of parity from which to see their father as another adult.