Kayla Isomura (she/they) is a Vancouver-based* photographer currently exploring themes of intergenerational trauma and racialized identity. With a background in journalism, her interest in storytelling through multimedia has been deeply influenced by her roots as a fourth-generation Japanese and Chinese Canadian.

In 2018, Kayla produced The Suitcase Project, a multimedia exhibition asking fourth and fifth-generation Japanese Canadians and Americans what they would pack if forcibly removed from their homes today. The Suitcase Project made its debut at the Nikkei National Museum and is currently touring.

Following this work, Kayla continues to explore narratives that centre marginalized voices. Whether through personal projects or supporting grassroots organizations, she aims for access and inclusion.

As a freelance photographer, Kayla has worked with Megaphone, Pivot Legal Society, Vancouver Foundation, and others. She is available to document people, events, and more.

*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, she recognizes the past and ongoing dispossession and displacement of Indigenous peoples. Within her own work, she aims to foster an inclusive framework, and is dedicated to learning what it means to be a settler and how to practice solidarity.


kayla [at] kaylaisomura [dot] com


The Suitcase Project (solo), National Japanese American Historial Society, San Francisco, CA, Feb 1-July 18

Feasting for Change, Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre, Vancouver, B.C. Sept 18-28
Journeying through Chinatowns, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Vancouver, B.C. April 30-Sept 1
The Suitcase Project, Cowichan Performing Arts Centre, Duncan, B.C. July 5-26

The Suitcase Project (solo), Nikkei National Museum, Burnaby, B.C. June 16-Sept 2


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