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Yukiko Onley | Portrait Photographs

Yukiko Onley was born in Osaka, Japan where art and culture were an intrinsic part of her upbringing. Her grandmother was both a master of traditional flower arrangements and a master of the tea ceremony,. In addition, one of her aunts had gained a name as an accomplished painter. It's not surprising then that Yukiko's early training in the visual arts was as a painter. After meeting and falling in love with the renowned Canadian painter Toni Onley, Yukiko packed up and moved to Vancouver in 1976.

Her relationship with Toni, both during and after their marriage, has [played a significant role and has deeply influenced the development of her work. Originally working as a painter Yukiko began to see her limitations of the medium and in 1989 she began to explore the possibilities of photography. Largely self-taught as a photographer, her explorations and understanding of the medium began to suit her aesthetic and artist sensibility and over the past twenty years she has firmly established herself as one of the premier portrait photographers working on the West Coast.

Her approach to her subjects is intuitive and spontaneous and the resulting portraits are elegant, sophisticated and timeless. Over the years she has documented some of the leading cultural figures living and working in Vancouver including: Arthur Erickson, Jim Hart, Fred Herzog, Robert Reid and of course the late Toni Onley. In addition to her work as a photographer, Yukiko is interested in and involved with a wide range of music, dance and theater productions. Currently she is a volunteer photographer for the Modern Baroque Opera Company in Vancouver.

Yukiko continues to live and work in Vancouver and has recently relocated her photographic studio to Alberta Street where she also operates a small gallery. Besides her work as a celebrated portrait photographer, she is increasingly being sought after as a wedding photographer. For more information on her work, please check her website at:

Earlier Event: September 18
Barbara Marchand | SYILX