SOANE TAUATAINA PANINIA : TATTOO ARTIST FROM WALLIS & FUTUNA (PACIFIC ISLANDS)

I come from a small island in the South Pacific called Wallis and Futuna. I grew up in the village of Aka-Aka and started tattooing my friends and family when I was 13 years old. In 1999, I moved to New Caledonia to attend the culinary school there, but my passion for tattooing continued to grow. Throughout my training as a chef I was able to travel across the Pacific, learning about the cultures in a variety of places like New Zealand, Tahiti, Australia, and Fiji. In May 2001, I moved to France to work as a chef while I continued to develop my tattooing practice. Three years later, I decided to start tattooing professionally in Paris. I tried to get hired at several tattoo shops there, but most were mean and few were welcoming. I realized that I needed to start thinking about opening my own tattoo shop. In 2005 i got a call from the owner of Abraxas i worked with him for a short time and then i open my own tattoo shop in Paris. Since then, I have dedicated all my time to furthering my craft and evolving my technique of Polynesian Tattoo. After 5 years of diligent crazy work, I decided to open my second shop in Biarritz while still maintaining my shop in Paris. Maintaining two shops was difficult, but I loved it. I would work one week in Paris then the next week find myself in Biarritz. Finally, in September of 2011 I decided to close both shops and move with my wife to her home on Rapa Nui (Easter Island). We decided to open up a tattoo shop here, and have been enjoying it ever since. Even though Rapa Nui is very different to my home in Wallis, we still find many similarities in our ancient traditions and ways of life. I don’t see myself as an artist, but an artisan. I don’t rush a tattoo just thinking about money. I put myself into each piece, designing it ahead of time and thinking about how my craft melds with the person receiving the tattoo. It is what was done in the past, and it is my responsibility to continue this today. Here a list of some artists, that you may not necessarily know,...

  • Soane Hoatau sculptor (Wallis et Futuna / Pacifique)
  • Petelo Suluape (Samoa / Pacifique)
  • Michel Heimanu (Tahiti / Polynésie)
  • Efraima et Simeon Huuti (Marquises / Polynésie)
  • Colla originaire des Australes, mon mentor (Toulon / France)
  • Chime originario de Tahiti (Bordeaux / France)
  • Vetea (Tahiti / Polynésie)
  • Teni Stanley (Marquises / Polynésie)
  • Steve Ma Ching  (New Zealand)
  • Josh Island Tat (San Diego, California / USA)
  • Mike Samoan Tatau (USA) 
  • Loic Abraxas (Paris / France)
  • las artistas del salon Tiki Tattoo (Nimes / France)