“Foreign Objects” Seeks a Visual Language for the Feeling of Having a Non-Western Name

Posted inSVA Branding: 100 Days

100 Days is an annual project at New York City’s School of Visual Arts that was founded by Michael Bierut. Each year, the students of the school’s Master’s in Branding Program spend 100 days documenting their process with a chosen creative endeavor. This year, we’re showcasing each student in the program by providing a peek into ten days of their project. You can keep an eye on everyone’s work on our SVA 100 Days page.

Have you ever encountered a dramatic pause just before your name was about to be called on the roll call, where it felt like the upcoming moment carried an air of strangeness? This wasn’t simply because your name was in a different language or difficult to pronounce, but rather because it seemed unfamiliar and alien.

Ayşe Yaren Kaya’s project “Foreign Objects” operates with the objective of critiquing the tendency to marginalize and exoticize identities based on names and characters that are deemed “alien” from a Western perspective. This issue extends well beyond mere mispronunciation or language barriers— it involves a prejudice against anything that deviates from the norm, distorting one’s perception. When people other you by projecting a distorted and skewed image of otherness onto your identity, it fundamentally alters and rebrands how others perceive you.

Foreign Objects utilizes distorted typography as a consistent element to convey the intricate connection between identity and the warped perspectives imposed upon it by others. See the full project on Instagram @100foreignobjects