Papercut and multimedia artist Lauren Iida:‘Heaven to me is an Exacto knife and a blank piece of paper’
JUSTINE CHAN MARCH 15, 2016
Encountering one of Seattle-based, Japanese American artist Lauren Iida’s paper cut pieces is like emerging from a darkroom into a day blinding bright and stark with outline and shadow. The paper cuts tell stories in singular scenes from a life both familiar and strange: a woman selling a chaotic jumble of shoes spread out on a blanket, monk boys carrying umbrellas walking barefoot to school, a barber absently snipping away, a young mother bathing her child. If Iida uses color, the effect is striking and minimalistic, Sumi ink wash blooms, Rorschach clouds of aquarelle. Whether set against a black background or compressed between panes of glass, there is always an arresting quality of the comic book, a poem, a rich saturation, a chaos, and an intricate delicacy to each of the pieces—they are cut paper, after all, cut with such care. And for her, the more detail all the richer.