Latai Taumoepeau

The Last Resort

By Biennale of Sydney

22nd Biennale of Sydney: NIRIN

The Last Resort Installation ImageBiennale of Sydney

About the artist

Latai Taumoepeau
Born 1972 in Gadigal Ngurra/Sydney, Australia 
Lives and works in Gadigal Ngurra/Sydney, Australia

Latai Taumoepeau makes and presents work in the world and will return to her ancestral island nation of Tonga to learn and continue the faivā (performing art), sea voyaging and celestial navigation before she becomes an ancestor.


Latai Taumoepeau | The Last Resort | 22nd Biennale of Sydney | NIRIN (2020)Biennale of Sydney

The Last Resort Installation ImageBiennale of Sydney

The Last Resort

At Sydney's Cockatoo Island, Latai Taumoepeau's installation The Last Resort excavates a dystopian image and experience of idyllic island landscapes, mostly considered as holiday destinations to outsiders.

The Last Resort Installation ImageBiennale of Sydney

This endurance performance installation explores the fragility and vulnerability of saltwater ecologies and communities of Pacific Island nations in Oceania, responding to the emotional, geo-political and physical labour of Pacific people and their struggle in the acceleration of rising sea levels due to the melting of ice glaciers, threatening mass exodus and displacement.  

The Last Resort Installation ImageBiennale of Sydney

"Surrounded by a wall of sacks filled with empty glass bottles. They are stitching up the sea. Wearing brick sandals on their feet and armed with an ‘ike (Tongan mallet) exclusively used to beat mulberry bark into large ceremonial cloth called ngatu or tapa, they smash and crush the glass into the present future...


The Last Resort The Last Resort (2020) by Latai TaumoepeauBiennale of Sydney

...Empty, torn sacks adorn their necks as a lei or sisi, usually a garland of fresh tropical flowers and leaves worn as a body adornment in formal Pacific Island presentations, also used to welcome guests and keep their necks cool. They are stitching up sea at /as the last resort."

- Latai Taumoepeau



Navigate through the exhibition space and explore The Last Resort in 360.

Credits: Story

The Last Resort, 2020 
glass, single-channel video, sound 
Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney with generous assistance from the Oranges & Sardines Foundation 
Courtesy the artist 
Performer / Co-devisor: Taliu Aloua; Lighting Designer: Amber Silk; Soundtrack: James Brown; Costume: Anthony Aitch 

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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