In 2006 Vea graduated from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Visual Arts, majoring in Sculpture with minors in Moving Image and Painting. She then went on to complete a Graduate Diploma in Fine Arts in 2007 also at the University of Auckland. In 2013 Vea was Art Director and Actor for the short film Broken Silence which was a Sir Peter Jackson Choice finalist at the V48 Hours Film Festival. In 2011 Vea was nominated for the Asia Pacific
Veaâ€™s film practice is influenced by themes of identity springing from her multicultural Tongan and Scottish/English heritage. Veaâ€™s work is further influenced by her upbringing, spending much of her time between a farm in the Waikato and living in Tonga.Â Her works currently focus on the environmental, political and social events that plague Tonga, particularly looking at the Haâ€™apai Island group, which is where her family originally hails from.
Veaâ€™s 2007 installation Who will douse the kingdom? featured a combination of personal documentation and confiscated footage Vea obtained of the actual event and aftermath of the 2006 Nukuâ€™alofa riots. The riots which took place in the Tongan capital of Nukuâ€™alofa were initially fuelled by frustration with the Legislative Assembly of Tonga who were perceived to have neglected enforcing promised policies which would have enabled a democratic government.Â Â Who will douse the kingdom was exhibited at Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts.Â Â The installation was one iteration of a trilogy of digital kava circles.Â Â The films on television monitors were placed in a circular formation, interacting and discussing varying viewpoints as a community would in a traditional kava circle.
Vea has exhibited in a number of group and solo exhibitions including:Â The Time of Useful Consciousnessâ€”Political Ecology Now, The Dowse, 2017;Â Tonga â€˜I Onopooni: Tonga Contemporary, South Island Tour, 2015; Mai Pasifika Film Festival(co-curator), Sunshine Melbourne, 2015; Over the Line, Northart Gallery, Auckland, 2014; Tauhi VÄ the art of socio-spacial relation, Fresh Gallery Otara, Auckland, 2014;Tonga â€˜I Onopooni: Tonga Contemporary, Pataka Museum, Wellington, 2014; Tongan to the Bone, OtaraCube, Otara, 2013; Noâ€™o Fakataha, Atenisi University, Tonga, 2013; Matala Noâ€™o Fakataha, Mangere Arts Centre, Auckland, 2012; â€˜Au Mei Moana, Kava Kuo Heka Festival, Tonga, 2010; Date Line: Contemporary Art of the Pacific, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, 2008 and Who Will douse the kingdom?, Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts, Auckland, 2007.