Artist Lauren Iida has created intricate works with just a piece of paper and a knife.

“The cutting process itself is really meditative for me,” said Iida. “I’m the most peaceful and most happy when I’m cutting paper.”

In her spare time, Iida builds works of art using detailed paper cutouts she creates.

“When I’m cutting these objects or people, I’m remembering a time or a place or a person,” said Iida.

The artist simplifies the subject into negative and positive space and says that now when she looks at the world, she sees it in the same light. She can create almost anything with her two tools.

Iida describes her work as intricate, delicate, and chaotic.

“A chaos of memories and stories that I carry around with me that are always kind of buzzing,” said Iida. “It has trapped all my memories.”

At Iida’s exhibit “How to Trap a Memory” at ArtXchange, a large 30-foot-long paper installation hangs from the ceiling. And judging from the size of it, you would never know she did all the work from a small table in her apartment.

Much of Iida’s influence comes from her time in Cambodia.

“The pieces from Cambodia are celebrating the people that I’ve become close with over the last decade of living and working there,” said Iida. “the nature of Cambodia, especially in the cities, is very chaotic.”

That chaos comes through in Iida’s artwork. She also captures her Japanese heritage in her work.

“The pieces about my Japanese family are kind of a way for me to process my family history and also to share it with other people,” said Iida.

One of the works showcased in her exhibit is a compilation of objects from her family’s time in a World War II internment camp.

“This is my grandmother’s wedding corsage and pearls,” said Iida. “She met her husband, my grandfather, inside camp.”

Although the paper is fragile, it captures the essence of life.

“I would continue to cut paper every day, no matter if I never showed anybody,” said Iida.

You can see Lauren’s paper art at Art Exchange in Pioneer Square. The exhibit runs through April 29th.

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