Contemporary South Pacific art by Ilaisa Latu

About the artist

 My formative years were in the idyllic and most ancient island of Eua, Tonga, in the South Pacific.

Being rejected at a very early age by most, I gradually withdrew into my own little shell. Art is where I found solace, and in between helping my father on the farm, I would find myself drawing on whatever was available. Tapa (bark of the mulberry tree), woven mats (made from Pandanus leaves), scraps of paper, people’s body parts to tattoo… everything would take on the form of a drawing board.

It was only at the age of 26, that I got a scholarship and spent a year at the School of Arts in Kona, Hawaii. That one year was instrumental in honing my inherent gifting as an artist and also in widening my global perspective, though the language was a big challenge. I found my help in GOD who gave me the grace to complete my school.

Since the age of 23, my desire was to imbibe the confluence of cultures that are in India, and this was fulfilled in 2005 when I finally made it here. I currently reside in Mumbai with my loving Indian Hoa (wife in Tongan)  Shubhra.

My vision and dream are to use the gifting I have been blessed with to communicate HIS love to the hurting and the rejected; as I myself have experienced these. It is only love – the love of my late mother and the unconditional love of GOD that gave me the support and encouragement I needed.

As someone who spent most of my former years treated as a “discard”, I now paint, compose poetry, prose, and songs, play the guitar with 3 chords and have 3 released Tongan albums.  The one thing that I have learned is that the love of GOD conquers all. Walk through the impossible to reach the possible with HIM .

Thankyou for taking time out to read this and GOD bless!

You can email me at


3 thoughts on “About the artist

  1. You have a beautiful site! I love seeing your paintings and photos and reading your poems. Great job! Keep posting. I still remember hearing you singing through the corridors of the guest house. It sounded like an angel! Blessings to you brother.


  2. Hello Ilaisa! I wonder if you and your dear wife would remember me? While reading about you here, it brought back memories of the time you both visited me here at my home, in Gurgaon. What a lovely fellowship evening we had:) ..I pray, now after, so many years, you & your wife have moved on in God’s Amazing Love & Grace? I wish you well. My blessings,
    Norma Paiva


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