Kayla Isomura

Region: Vancouver BC
Yonsei | Born 1994, New Westminster, B.C.


Kayla Leung 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. 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. In 2020, the exhibit made its international debut in San Francisco, California. Kayla’s work has further been published in The Tyee, Megaphone and Briarpatch, among others. They are a graduate of the journalism program at Langara College and 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, Kayla aims to foster an inclusive framework and continues to learn solidarity.

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