Adelaide College of the Arts

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AC Arts News

No monkey business for award-winning AC Arts graduate

Dec 14, 2012

Humans come one step closer to their primate cousins in TAFE SA Adelaide College of the Arts (AC Arts) graduate Rohan Cheong’s award-winning piece 96 Percent.

96 Percent is a charcoal and Conte pencil drawing that tied in first place for the Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards (SOYA) People’s Choice Award following its recent success as an Adelaide finalist in the Cliftons Art Prize earlier this year.

The piece explores evolution and connectedness, emerging from the notion that human and chimpanzee DNA is 96 per cent identical.

“I wanted to evoke a sense of humanity and familiarity, and raise questions about who we are and where we are heading as both a species and a part of the natural world,” Rohan said.

“I was really trying to capture a sense of humanity in it, especially through his gaze and his overall expression. I wanted people to be able to look at it and feel a sense of connectedness.”

It was an exciting and slightly surreal experience for Rohan to find out he’d won the award, which he entered in the hopes of establishing himself as an emerging illustrator and artist.

“A lot of people really got behind me and helped promote and share my work, and it just kind of took off,” he said.

“I was really blown away by all the support.”

Rohan graduated from AC Arts in 2009 with a Certificate IV in Visual Arts and Contemporary Craft, and is currently teaching high school art and design in Port Pirie.

To find out more about 96 Percent and Rohan Cheong’s illustrations, check out his Facebook page at

Find out more about Visual Arts at the Adelaide College of the Arts.