Kayla Isomura is a documentary photographer and journalist based in Vancouver, B.C.* As a multigenerational settler of Chinese and Japanese descent, Kayla’s interest in storytelling has been largely influenced by their family’s story of displacement and intergenerational trauma.

Through this lens, Kayla aims to explore narratives that centre historically resilient voices. They are drawn to stories that focus on intersections of race, gender, queerness and class.

Most notably, Kayla produced The Suitcase Project, which made its debut at the Nikkei National Museum in 2018 and is currently touring. Their work has been published in The Tyee, Megaphone, and Briarpatch.

Kayla is a graduate of the journalism program at Langara College. They are currently studying photojournalism at Loyalist College in Belleville, Ont.

*Kayla acknowledges that the area presently called Vancouver is within the traditional, ancestral, unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ təməxʷ (Tsleil-Waututh) nations. As a descendant of settlers, they recognize the past and ongoing dispossession and displacement of Indigenous peoples. Within their own work, they aim to foster an inclusive framework and are dedicated to learning how to practice solidarity.

Photo by Tracy Moromisato.


The Suitcase Project (solo)
Peace Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Feasting for Change
Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre, Vancouver, B.C.

Journeying through Chinatowns
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Vancouver, B.C.

The Suitcase Project
Cowichan Performing Arts Centre, Duncan, B.C.

The Suitcase Project (solo)
Nikkei National Museum, Burnaby, B.C.


Writing in the Margins, Briarpatch Magazine
First place: Photography category