Jacky Cheng makes art that is multicultural in every aspect of its being. While growing up in Malaysia, Cheng was introduced to the art of cutting and folding joss paper by her grandmother. “I owe the significant part of my practice to that process,” she says. “The practice and pride in knowing every single cut is of purpose and intent.” But that tradition takes on a new form in her works: a series of pieces that also show the influence of and her connection with the Aboriginal culture of northwestern Australia, where Cheng has lived, worked, and taught since 2006.
Trained as an architect, Cheng brings her cultural influences together in works that marry a strong feeling for structure and form with a dynamic sense of energy. In her pieces, the delicacy of cut paper exists alongside bold splashes of color and an adventurous, boundary-pushing spirit. The symmetrical regularity of the mandala can be seen, but that balance and harmony is juxtaposed with a variety of textures, a sensitivity to light and shadow, and an open-ended spontaneity that make each image feel fresh and contemporary.