Latai Taumoepeau is a Punake, body-centred performance artist; her faivā (temporal practice) is from her homelands, the Island Kingdom of Tonga and her birthplace; the Eora nation – Sydney, and everything far and in-between Oceania. Latai activates indigenous philosophies and methodologies; cross-pollinating ancient practices of ceremony with her contemporary processes & performance work to re-interpret, re-generate and extend her movement practice and its function in and from Oceania. Her work brings the voices of marginalised communities to the foreground.
Much of her work is in climate change advocacy for Pacific island nations through her extensive body work and various engagement projects. Works such as Ocean Island Mine, Repatriate, Stitching up the Sea, and i-Land X-isle have been presented in gallery and performance contexts including Carriageworks, Sydney Festival, Perth Festival, Tanz Im August (Berlin), Dance Massive, Sydney Biennale, Museum of Contemporary Art, Performance Space, Sydney Opera House, Arts House, Blacktown Arts Centre, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, The Australian Museum, Brisbane Powerhouse to name a few. She has also toured internationally to London, Germany, France, Japan, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Slovenia, Cook Islands and New Zealand.
For 6 years Latai was the projects co-ordinator at Radio Skid Row, a community radio station in Sydney, engaging communities in creative digital media projects that were under-represented in mainstream media and she also worked for Playwriting Australia delivering an outreach program in NSW high schools.
Latai is currently installing a new work The Last Resort on Cockatoo Island for the Biennale of Sydney. She is the lead artist on a five year project in Melbourne titled Refuge; an extensive artist led exploration of community preparedness in emergency management.
Iin 2019 Latai was awarded the Prague Quadrennial of Space and Design Excellence in Performance Design Award. Other awards include Fbi Radio’s listener-voted SMAC Best Artist Award in 2016, and the Pacific Communities Council Environment Award 2015.