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Jacky Cheng
G’day, pleased to ’yeast’ ya!
Tell us about your piece and how it represents the Country that you are from?

Upon receiving the brief, I was excited to create a fun and quirky piece. My first step was to interview a number of Australian-born then non Australian-born on their preception of an iconic Australiana art piece. Some named flowers, cars, iconic structures i.e. Sydney Harbour Bridge, The Sydney Opera House and so on. But I needed one element that ties all Australians – an everyday element that resembles the epitome of a typical Australian home. That’s how the Vegemite idea came to mind.  


This piece is crafted from hundreds of individual 110gsm paper. The sheets were individually glued layer upon layer to create one side of the iconic Vegemite and the other the ’wall’ landscape that is rich in many parts of Australia. I could not resist but to also incorporate little silhouette figures of adventurous Aussies on the ’wall’. It is merely a representation of Australian people on their adventures, fun, great sense of humour, ambitious and most importantly the quality of ’mateship’  (a cultural idiom that embodies equality, loyalty and friendship).


Whenever I travel to a different country, I embrace the cultural resonance of food and seek local delicacies. I was introduced to Australia’s breakfast of champions upon my arrival. Hear the term ’Vegemite’ and you will find this concentrated yeast extract is in practically every household pantry in Australia. Vegemite is more than just an Australian delicacy. It is the icon for the adventurous, the bold, the raw, the curious much like an outback adventure.  You will like the initial taste and the aftertaste, but there is a moment right in the middle of each bite where the Vegemite packs quite a punch. Vegemite on toast = Australian delicacy. 

What was the most challenging part of the brief?

The diversity of options of the different themes, icons, people, places that I had to choose from to represent my interpretation of Australia. Ultimately I chose ’food’ as the common language.

What part of the brief did you enjoy the most?

The making of my interpretation of Australia – the building of the thought process and artistic design with a touch of iconic product representation.​

How did you enjoy working with Excel Blades?

I enjoyed working with the K18 Grip-on knife mostly. The soft grip allowed easy manoeuvring with less stress on my fingers and wrist. The #2 medium duty was excellent in precision cutting due to the shorter blade design. The blades were incredibly durable and remained sharp after cutting many sheets of paper – durability, sustainability and most importantly the quality of the blades were impressive. Thank you for the opportunity to test them out. I’m a convinced and a convert. 

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