Feu’u is an internationally recognised Samoan-New Zealand artist. He has been pivotal in shaping the interest in contemporary Pacific art globally and nurturing a generation of Pacific artists, leading to his reputation as the “Father of contemporary Pacific art”. Feu’u grew up in the village of Poutasi in the district of Falealili in Samoa and emigrated to New Zealand in 1966.
Feu’u explores motifs of Pacific and particularly his Samoan culture, but with a strong modernist interpretation – in paintings, limited edition woodcuts and sculptures. His love of Picasso and the early 20th century modernists is also evident is his distinctive style, which sees him recognised as one of the leading New Zealand Pacific artists. Over recent years, his works have expressed the rebuilding, physically and spiritually, of the tsunami which struck Samoa in 2009 – particularly the Poutasi area, where Fatu holds chiefly status. His thoughts on life are “woven” into his canvases, with the constant use of siapo (tapa or bark cloth designs) that refer to his ancestry and heritage.