The Suitcase Project: Artist Talk

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In less than seven months, Kayla Isomura produced The Suitcase Project from start to installation with ongoing support from the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre. During this time, more than 100 individuals in Canada and the United States signed up to participate in this project-turned-exhibit.
Join Kayla, curator and photographer of The Suitcase Project, and videographer Mark Yuen for this artist talk. Over three months, more than 80 yonsei and gosei (fourth and fifth generation) Japanese Canadians and Americans took part in the final production from across Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley to Vancouver Island, and Washington, USA.
Learn how The Suitcase Project came together, listen to anecdotes from the journey, and ask your questions.
Kayla Isomura is yonsei (fourth generation) Japanese and Chinese Canadian photographer. With a background in journalism, her interest in storytelling through multimedia prompted Kayla to produce The Suitcase Project, which debuted at the Nikkei National Museum in 2018. Kayla is an active member of the Japanese Canadian community and is presently involved with the Kikiai Collaborative, the Japanese Canadian Young Leaders, and the Human Rights Committee of the Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens' Association. When she's not working behind the camera, Kayla can be found exploring the landscape around her
Mark Yuen is an award-winning video producer with more than 10 years of visual-storytelling experience. From concept to completion, he has produced compelling content for Postmedia, CBC, OLN, W Network, Discovery Channel, and many commercial clients. His thorough understanding of photography and DSLR filmmaking allows him to achieve high-quality results on deadline for minimal budgets. He is currently a continuing-studies instructor for the New Media Journalism program at Simon Fraser University.
The Suitcase Project asks yonsei and gosei (fourth and fifth generation) Japanese Canadians and Americans what they would pack if uprooted from their homes in a moment’s notice. While these descendants of the internment and incarceration may never have to endure the same forced uprooting as their ancestors, Kayla Isomura’s work examines how they, and those descended from families who faced other forms of discrimination, remain affected by this history today.
With additional videography by Mark Yuen and music composition by Garin Fahlman.
For more information, or to view all public programs for the exhibit, visit here.
The main entrance to the Nikkei National Museum is street level with no steps. The gallery entrance is on the first floor and is also level. There are two gendered washrooms and an all-genders accessible washroom with a change table.
This event is seated.
Audio components of the exhibit are accompanied by English transcriptions. Each film has subtitles in English as well. Listening stations and the film component are seated.
If driving, free parking is available underground with designated accessible parking spaces. An elevator will take you to the main level. If taking public transit, the museum is a 15 minute walk uphill from Edmonds Station. The 119 departs from Edmonds Station and Metrotown Station every 10 minutes and stops right outside the museum.
This event is free and the gallery is free/by donation.
This event takes place on the traditional, unceded, occupied territories of the Coast Salish peoples: the mi ce:p kʷətxʷiləm (Tsleil-Waututh), Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations.