Award Winners / Artist Profile

About the Artist

Lauren Iida earned her BFA from Cornish College of the Arts where she focused on developing her “paper cutaway” technique and video. Iida’s highly-detailed cut paper pieces often depict her Japanese American heritage and Cambodia where she lived and worked for many years on several volunteer and social entrepreneurship projects. Currently Iida teaches her paper cutaway techniques to homeless youth through Gage Academy of Art and Sanctuary Art Center. She is the founder of The Antipodes Collective, a non-profit creating quality, bilingual learning materials for Cambodian children. She also illustrates books, and works on private and public commissions in cut paper and metal.


Lauren received GAP 2016 funding for Nu and the Moon Rabbit, a children’s story she wrote and is producing as an animated short film. The story is about a little Khmer boy living in a small rural village in Cambodia who adventures around the universe on a magic flying whiteboard. He writes the name of the place he wants to go with his felt-tip pen, and the whiteboard takes him there. Because of the Khmer Rouge genocide targeting of artists and intellectuals in the 1970s there is a serious lack of stories and films set in Cambodia featuring Khmer protagonists and celebrating Khmer history and culture. This film will be an important contribution to the promotion of Khmer culture around the world and an exciting opportunity for Khmer children to celebrate the adventure of a strong, worldly protagonist they can see themselves in.

Information included above was provided by artist at the time of application.
From the Artist

I am very grateful to receive this GAP grant which will allow me to bring my stories and paper cutaway art to life through animation. I look forward to sharing this story about the Khmer culture with viewers of all ages in America and Cambodia.

Lauren Iida