Jacky Cheng


1977. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese: Cantonese, Mandarin, Dialect: Teochew and Hainanese

Lives & Works

Broome, Western Australia


Jacky was born in Malaysia of Chinese heritage, and now resides in Yawuru Country, Rubibi (Broome), WA. Deeply rooted in her own bi-cultural experience, her focus is fundamentally about identity and awareness through cultural activities, nostalgia, and intergenerational relationships. She correlates and weave narratives from her native experiences whilst mapping the esoteric and social constructs of her current environment, and collective surroundings.

Story-telling is the essence of meaning-making. Conversations surrounding cultural
celebrations, taboos and protocols are pertinent to my childhood as ideals of benevolence and loyalty to reflect the core objectives of intergenerational relationships through acts of filial piety. As a person of colour in a transcultural environment, her awareness is amplified through a diasporic lens.

Influenced by this oscillation between two cultures, her work based itself in the subject of questioning perceptions of identity through a reflection on personal and shared experiences, the mobility of communities, local and global issues and at the same time taking the liberty to interrogate notions of ‘place and identity’, ’home', 'belonging' and 'in between' territories whilst nurturing her own identity and keeping her grandmother’s stories and teachings alive. She states, ‘I make to remember’.

Artist Statement

Using moon blocks is reserved for contacting a specifically invoked spirit, be that ancestral or celestial. My Ah Ma (grandmother), a Taoist practitioner, it is an important decision-making tool. She who adheres to this practice has one very strict advice: Do not present any question to the moon blocks that you are not prepared to truly accept the answer. Rituals provide a sense of control over uncontrollable events, reducing stress and anxiety.

Even though the effectiveness of these rituals is objectively unfounded, the subjective psychological comfort they provide can have real-world positive effects for individuals or within a family dynamic. Rituals often accompany the use of lucky charms, whether it's knocking on wood or carrying a four-leaf clover. While these rituals might not change the outcome of an event, they provide comfort - reduce anxiety and increase confidence. We tend to focus on information that confirms our pre-existing beliefs while overlooking information that doesn't.

Therefore, when something good happens, we have the tendency to attribute it to our luck or lucky charm, reinforcing our belief in their power. Events are random and unable to be controlled by charms, rituals, or superstitions. However, the belief in luck can significantly influence our perceptions and behaviour.

Acknowledgements & Collaborators

Thank you IOTA team and FAC for the curation of works, installation support and communication. Immeasurable gratitude to family, friends, peers, creative community of Kimberley Arts Network, Broome; Katie Freeman and team of Textile Lab; studio assistants, Saori Matsumoto and Kiki Matsumoto for the support.

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Exhibiting at

Fremantle Arts Centre

FAC is a multi-arts organisation based in a historic building complex in Fremantle, Western Australia.

FAC is an IOTA24 Major Exhibition Partner.


1 Finnerty Street, Fremantle