The Chinese Museum Arts Collective hosted its second Artist’s Insights for 2023, featuring Jacky Cheng, on Sunday 23 April.

Jacky Cheng is a contemporary artist who was born in Malaysia and now practices in Broome. Though her practice dynamically crosses many media and disciplines, her primary interest has been the use of paper and fibre. Through these materials, Jacky has realised artworks that explore ideas of memory, place and belonging for a Chinese person in the diaspora.

On Sunday, Jacky relayed her unique journey as an artist and art educator. She spoke about discovering and eventually becoming deeply involved in First Nations communities in Broome. Her journey from Malaysia to Broome was and continues to be defined by learning and cross-cultural exchange. Her story demonstrates what can be made possible if one is open and attentive to the people and culture of other communities.

Jacky guided the audience through many of her artworks, from a collaborative installation on the Broome coastline to performance painting pieces and a traditional Chinese funeral dress made from paper. The audience was given the opportunity to realise how fully her artworks are integrated into her life and identity as a human being who is a member of a community. Perhaps what was most stimulating about Jacky’s explanations was this realisation that behind every artwork is an artist situated in a world of living concerns.

The time for questions with Jacky was exceptionally familiar and illuminating, as members of the audience who themselves were graphic designers or painters asked Jacky precise questions about her practice and life as an artist.