Lauren Iida was born in Seattle and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Cornish College of the Arts (2014). She shares her time between Seattle and Cambodia, exhibiting her work, creating public art installations, and mentoring and representing emerging contemporary Cambodian artists through Open Studio Cambodia.
Her main medium is intricately hand-cut paper, often incorporating layers of ink washed paper and focusing on negative space and shadow play. Her reoccurring 30-foot-long hand-cut paper temporary installation/performance piece, the "Memory Net" has traveled the world, taking on new meaning and engaging communities in each new context.
In the USA, Iida has exhibited her work at ArtXchange Gallery, King Street Station, the Mayor’s Gallery at Seattle City Hall, Shoreline City Hall, Virago Gallery, Tacoma Spaceworks, Sculpture Northwest, and Columbia City Gallery among others. Iida is an Artist Trust GAP Grant recipient and received an Art Matters fellowship in 2017. She was also awarded a Densho Artist-in-Residence Award in 2021.
Her work has been collected by the City of Seattle Portable Works Collection (2016), King County Public Art Collection (2019) and the Washington State Arts Commission (2020). Iida has been commissioned to create temporary and permanent public art by The City of Seattle, The City of Shoreline, Washington State Convention Center Addition, The Office of Arts and Culture/Seattle Department of Transportation, The City of Bellevue, Plymouth Housing, and Sound Transit.
Iida is the founder of Open Studio Cambodia, an arts collective based in Siem Reap, Cambodia which supports eight emerging Cambodian contemporary artists and organizes exhibitions, art workshops, and contemporary art tours throughout the country.
Much of Iida's artwork is influenced by Cambodia where she has been active for many years working on projects to support and mentor artists and other social entrepreneurship projects beginning in 2008. Other major influences include her family's Japanese American heritage and incarceration during WWII and celebrating her Pacific Northwest home.