Spiritual treks awakened art

Kie Susuico is a graphic artist with an interest in art that began in childhood. Susuico credits his mother for the origins of his artistic ability as she is an artist in her own right. At a young age, Susuico’s father took him on hikes through the jungles of Guam. As part of the treks into the jungles and along remote coastal areas on Guam, Susuico has accepted the Chamorro name Sanhalom, meaning “there within” – a name that aptly describes his personality.

Susuico’s cultural art was inspired and is created from imagery he has taken from spiritual treks many years later as an adult at the age of 35. He traveled many times to the mainland United States and each time longed to return to Guam.

Susuico’s artwork was influenced by his brothers, Jay and Mark Susuico, who are also talented artistically and have graduated from art school. His brothers shared with him numerous skills and techniques in the creation of art. Susuico drew influence and inspiration from works including Filamore Palomo Alcon’s Håga, Jay Baza Pascua’s Sinangan, Fanai Castro’s Talågue, Jerry Uelsmann’s Japanimation, and from the work of John Calvo, Roman Dela Cruz, Eric Taitano, and numerous graffiti artists.

Susuico’s interest in graffiti art allowed him to create his form of graffiti art on paper and in the electronic memory of his computer – digital graffiti. Graffiti rose to an art form from its early start in urban areas across America and is reaching areas across the globe to include Guam.

His computer-generated commercial art appeared in various local publications and other media to include electronic. His commercial work also appeared on clothing, in print advertisements, and as promotional materials for special events. The imagery captured by Susuico’s camera is digitally enhanced with compositions that reveal other cultural images that are meant to evoke emotion. There are also many messages and cultural symbols imbedded in his art. Susuico’s art shows powerful images composed in a unique and unconventional way.

Susuico is a member of the Chamorro Artists Association. His affiliation in the association allowed him to exhibit his work at the Pacific Trading Company’s “Fakmåta” art show and open mic. He designed the logo for Fakmåta and is now the association’s official graphic artist.

Susuico’s support for Fakmåta stems from his promotion of spoken word art through his production of Sinangån-ta Poetry Slam. Kie along with Melvin “Hila” Borja and Jovan “Malak” Tamayo, founded Sinangån-ta on December 30, 2005. The poetry slam has drawn capacity crowds. Susuico also designs the graphics for the show.

For further reading

Guam Council on the Arts and Humanities Agency. “Artists – Guam CAHA.”

Humanities Guåhan. Picturing Guam Teachers Resource Book. Hagåtña: HG, 2011.

Leon-Guerrero, Jillette. Seeing Guam Through Our Eyes. Agana Heights: Guamology Publishing, 2010.