Fale-ship: Kalisolaite ‘Uhila


Conceptual, relatable and thought provoking, award-winning performance artist Kalisolaite ‘Uhila explores everyday life, making durational performance works that are often informed by his Tongan heritage. Through his performances he often seeks to promote a sense of understanding and togetherness. For his Fale-ship residency he utilises documentation to explore the connectedness he experienced during lockdown, working with the niu (coconut) as his focus.  

Ko Sia Ko Veiongo Toku Maunga, 
Ko Vava’u Toku Awa, 
Ko Tahi Pasifiki Toku Moana, 
Ko Holonga Toku Iwi, 
Ko Taulepa Toku Hapu, 
Ko Tonga Ta’eapa Uesiliana Toku Marae, 
Ko Api ko Onehaka Toku Wahi Noho, 
Ko Lomipeau Toku Waka, 
Ko Fusipala ‘o Pangai Toku whaea, 
Ko Sione Helehele Toku Matua, 
Ko Kalisi Langi- Uhila Toku Wahine 
Ko Lavinia Mo Melino Toku Tamariki 
Ko Kalisolaite ‘Uhila Toku Ingoa, 
No Reira, Tena Koutou, Tena Koutou, Tena tatou Katoa. 
A drifter from the ocean… maumau-taimi on land. 
what inspires me is my wife and kids they are my purpose in my everyday life. 
The world is my studio and I create when I’m awake and when I’m asleep I dream of my why? 

Exploring connectedness and the idea of the ‘essential’ led Kalisolaite to create his work ‘Coconut is Life / Niu Life’. He employs the niu (coconut) itself as the vessel of this exploration as he and his family prepare traditional Tongan dishes that utilise every part of the treasured fruit. In this video work, Kalisolaite takes us through the process of preparing the niu and making the food he loves and reminds him of home.  

“The idea of the coconut as life is because it’s not just a drink but each part of the coconut can be used, the liquid, the meat and the shell.”


Check out Kalisolaite’s highlight video as he reflects on his Tautai Fale-ship Residency! 

Being at home, surrounded by his wife and kids, Kalisolaite was challenged to work differently. Primarily a solo performance artist, Kalisolaite instead embraced his surroundings and the connectedness to his family, allowing their presence to enrich his Fale-ship residency.

“…you know being locked down and not much things are accessible for us, it kind of makes us think more of improvising or emphasizing what we have and just accepting things, instead of sometimes taking things for granted.”

– Kalisolaite ‘Uhila


For further information please email us 
Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

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