Manuel Choy Loo
(Panama, b. 1981)
Manuel Choy, known in the Panama City graffiti art scene as SUMO, is the son of parents of Chinese descent. Growing up in Panama, he closely observed the Chinese traditions of his immigrant grandparents, one of which—the board game mahjong—later provided the inspiration for his piece Ma Chok, a highlight of the 2016 group exhibition #PANACHINA.
After studying architecture in 2000, Choy began to intervene with Panama City’s walls, “using the walls as canvas and the city itself as a gallery.” He and his cousin, the artist Cisco Merel, have immersed themselves in the graffiti/street art movement; Choy’s remarkable success in this medium has brought him to the legendary 5pointz mural space in New York City, as well as to venues in Barcelona. His work on walls has also allowed him to expand into such innovative fields as large-format video mapping.