Qris Yamashita is a graphic designer and artist who has experienced significant commercial success and yet whose identity as Japanese American Buddhist taiko player inspires her best creative work to serve the Asian Pacific-Islander community. As Qris said in her interview with Discover Nikkei, “I live for the work I do outside of work”. Her art for the community on posters, flyers, and t-shirts, and in books attests to that.
On behalf of the taiko community, Qris has lived happily as the graphic designer for NATC since its inception. And since its founding TCA has been a grateful and fortunate target of Qris’ artistic interest. It is with profound gratitude that the Taiko Community Alliance was able to commission Qris to create a new graphic identity for the organization.
In this latest work, Qris has brought her passion for taiko, her commitment to the taiko and Asian American communities, and her activist spirit to bear on a task of personal importance to her. As she explains in her new video, The Story Behind the Symbol, our initials alone, “TCA”, are meaningful shorthand to those in our community and virtually unknown outside our taiko circles. With words and graphics, Qris has created a visual shorthand for our mission, to empower the people and advance the art of taiko. The mon provides an especially potent symbol of taiko, community, and alliance.
The new website is the first time the Taiko Community Alliance is sharing Qris’ work. We are grateful to Qris and look forward to having her design strengthen our identity globally.