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The art of Bone Carving flourished and thrived under the nurture of the Royals of Awadh 4 centuries ago. Eventually, with waning interest by the locals and a lack of awareness among international patrons, most artists renounced the practice in search of more profitable vocations. Our family along with a few of our companions held onto our culture and tradition, and vow to continue the practice for as long as we can. We now present to you the work of master artisans with a collective experience of more than 400 years exclusively on Art Renatus!
Born in the outskirts of Lucknow City, India, Jalaluddeen Akhtar has been creating works of bone carving for more than four decades. Passed on to him as ancestral vocation and culture, the Akhtar family has been in this field of art for more than four centuries. Having Learned the basics of craftsmanship from his uncle, Jalaludden took off as an independent artist. Soon after, he had apprentices learning and working under him. Although he faced several challenges in being present in this field of art, he sustained himself with a firm belief that, there would be a day his work would be recognized and lauded by the world. In his lifetime, he has seen and contributed towards the art... form evolving from its rudimentary form to the magnificent beauty that it is today. Starting with making pieces that resembled the traditional Nawabian culture, he was gradually inspired to make artifacts more relevant to the modern world. This evolution in his thought process was reflected in the carving style he assumed as time progressed. Identifying his distinctive style of work and his precision in the detail of his art, he was awarded the State Handicraft Award from the State Government of Uttar Pradesh in 2002 and the National Handicraft Award from the Government of India in 2009. He plays a key role in several government schemes which aim to sustain and promote some of the native artwork of India, such as project Ustaad and Project Guru Shishya Parampara. Further, he was trained at the National Institute of Fashion Technology in 2018 to innovate and create works that are inspired by the ways of the modern world. His vision of designing more creative work, persistence, and humility has brought him to what he is today, and he believes it will help him achieve much more.
With a keen interest in understanding the ways of ancient life, Aqeel Akhtar holds a post-graduate degree in Ancient history. Although he had quite a few opportunities in pursuing further education along that line, he saw massive potential in his father's artwork. Starting quite early in his teenage years, Aqeel began to learn the art of bone carving. He played a vital role in evolving the artwork to complex design, which seemed impossible before his involvement. With his academic understanding of the ancient culture and heightend awareness of the modernizing world, he developed artwork that appeared to be fusing the different timelines.... While creating his artwork to the modern standards, he developed his means of communicating the art of bone carving to the entire world with the help of social media. He played a crucial role in cooperating with Business Insider while they approached him for shooting a documentary in 2021. He understood the power of the internet and globalizing world and found his patrons from all over the world. Aqeel now aspires to showcase his artwork in art galleries worldwide and hopes to rekindle the sparks of awe towards this art that it once held.