MORE THAN LUMPIA: Kiley Kio No Octopus Taking 1 (2023)

Kiley Kio
No Octopus Taking 1 (2023)
Oil on canvas
48 x 30





Artist Statement

“The tarmac of Antonia B. Won Pat International Airport in May 2019 was the first time I experienced grief due to the sheer essence of traveling. I left Guam when I was only four years old and had not returned for 18 years, this time as a young adult. Though I was there for only a week and could go on about the experience, one of the signs on the beach I was snorkeling at resonated in a way I thought others could derive meaning from as well. “No Octopus Taking,” the sign read. I had never seen that phrase printed on a sign, but after further thought, it made sense. Why would you rip a creature from its natural habitat? This is how I feel about leaving Guam at such a young age – the feeling of disconnection to who I could have been is palpable. I am caught between vastly differing identities… and one of them I can’t say I know very well. Under normal circumstances, I create my oil paintings through a long, tedious, and detail-driven layering process. That is not what I did for these pieces. Candidly, I painted these in 48 hours because I wasn’t satisfied with my other pieces for this exhibit. I knew for Filipino Heritage Month I wanted to say something, but figuring out what I wanted to say has taken me to a new level of introspection. Throughout all my works I typically like to convey a sense of depth perception – I think it’s fascinating that a 2D canvas can trick the eye into believing 3D depth is present, even if only for a split second. This is also my first ever portrait of a human being. Capturing the literal human essence is something I’ve always strayed from, but I thought there would be no better way to tell my Octopus story. I used sketches from my open studios to get the form and just filled in value and hues where it felt right. The smaller piece is meant to be a continuation of the series and depicts octopus tentacles holding the sign I saw on the beach that day in irony.”

About Kiley Kio

Kiley Kio was born in 1997 in Tamuning, Guam. In pursuit of educational and economic opportunities allotted only by the American dream, her family moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 2001. Art has played an important role in her life from crayons in grade school to oil paints – her primary medium – during high school. Kiley graduated from the College of William & Mary in 2020 with a degree in Government and minor in Data Science. Without knowing a soul in the City, she moved to Chicago in the midst of the pandemic. Presently she works as a Data Privacy and Information Security Consultant, though she’s unable to put the paintbrush down. Kiley has disciplined herself to become a self-taught artist over the past 10 years. She focuses on her craft following the close of each workday in her home studio, often utilizing her travels and diverse experiences for inspiration. In May of 2023, Kiley had two pieces featured in a group show entitled “Stroke of Genius” at Dragonfly Gallery in West Town. Prior to May, Kiley created works to showcase only in private collections or her own residence. She is now tapping into the diverse and talented artistic community in Chicago, and spends time attending open studios at the Palette & Chisel Academy for Fine Arts and searching the City’s neighborhoods for covert street art. 

For more information about this exhibit, go to:
Categories: SKU: MORE THAN LUMPIA: Kiley Kio No Octopus Taking 1 (2023)
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