Kayla Isomura is a photojournalist 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. Through this lens, Kayla is often drawn to stories that focus on the intersections of identity, memory and place.

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 Globe and Mail, The Tyee and Megaphone, among others. Kayla is a graduate of the journalism program at Langara College and most recently completed a diploma in photojournalism from Loyalist College.

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.



The Suitcase Project
Chilliwack Museum, Chilliwack, B.C.


Resisters (group)
Wing Luke Museum, Seattle, Wash.

The Suitcase Project
Sidney Museum, Sidney, B.C.


The Suitcase Project
National Japanese American Historical Society, San Francisco, Calif.


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

The Suitcase Project
Arbutus Gallery, Cowichan Valley, B.C.

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


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

honours & awards


National Pictures of the Year, News Photographers Association of Canada
First place: Single multimedia

Better Newspapers Competition, Ontario Community Newspapers Association
Third place: Student photography


National Pictures of the Year, News Photographers Association of Canada
Third place: Student photographer of the year


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