A THREESOME WITH
CALI THORNHILL DEWITT &
HARUKA BIG LOVE

 
 

We got the man in charge of all things Japan, Joe Warner, to slide inbetween Cali Thornhill Dewitt and Haruka Big Love to talk their new label Society, their approach to collaboration, choosing between LA and Tokyo and much more. 

 

  

   

 

 

 

HARUKA: Hey, we’re ready! 

 

JW: Cool! Where are you guys right now? 

 

HARUKA: We’re chilling at Westin Hotel. Cali's phone is frozen right now lol. 

 

 

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JW: So you guys have known each other for ten years right? How did you first meet? 

  

HARUKA: So I started stocking his records from his label ‘Teenage Teardrops’. He thought I was a boy for maybe five years until we wet in person. Well you don’t know Japanese girls name [laughing emoji]! We became very good friends after his first visit to Tokyo to do a show at Big Love, organised by Chiro. Chiro is an artist from Tokyo, she takes photos and organises punk/hardcore shows. She is loved by everyone in our community.  

 

 

JW: Chiro [praying hands emoji]. Very cool. Haruka I’ve heard you refer to Cali affectionately as ‘father’. Where does that come from? 

  

HARUKA: Well he is everyones father, in our community. He encourages young artists to work on their things. I am kind of literally calling him father, maybe! Without him I might not have had the courage to work on various things. 

 

 

JW: The world needs people like that. Speaking of community, you both just got back from LA art book fair right? How was that for you both? It looked great. 

 

HARUKA: It was my first time at the Los Angeles one, it was so much fun and really inspiring. We shared the table but ended up with two tables, really spacious. Alexis Ross brought a bunk bed so Cali was lying there. What inspired me a lot was how Cali installed everything. He brought a plant, mannequins, a carpet, karaoke machine etc! We built a small studio there. We also had Brendan Fowler’s 'Election Reform!' section so it was all about our friends. 

 

 

JW: I saw the bunk...a family affair as usual! Did you guys see anything else good at the fair? 

 

HARUKA: Yes, Cali bought a shirt by Marc Hundley at Pre-Echo Press. We both bought the book ‘Gay Area’. 

 

 

JW: I’ll check it [eyes emoji] . 

 

HARUKA: He also releases records so I bought for Big Love! 

 

 

 

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JW: LA or Tokyo? If you had to pick…

 

HARUKA: For me, Tokyo. LA is interesting but it’s too big for me. I want everything to be in one place. I’ll ask Cali tomorrow, I bet he’s asleep. He got here at 5 in the morning, then went to the gym, strolled around, went to some meetings, then to the movies. No nap! 

 

CALI: LA is my number one but Tokyo is my second place. 

 

 

JW: I get you, Tokyo is super convenient! Cali, what are a few of your favourite Tokyo haunts? 

 

CALI: Big Love of course. The C.E store. Any side streets and residential areas, oh and the New Omani hotel! 

 

 

JW: Cali, with the launch of Kanye West's 'Pablo' came a whole new level of notoriety for you. Do you prefer fame or anonymity? 

 

CALI: I prefer anonymity, I try to cultivate it. 

 

 

 

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JW: What is the inspiration behind the new label, Society? 

 

HARUKA: Tokyo! It’s mostly about Tokyo’s street signs and ads. 

 

 

JW: The graphics right? 

 

HARUKA: Yes. So Cali takes pics everywhere he goes travelling, he’s mostly into the Tokyo ones. Savage James Rockin, Cali’s studio mate and member of WSSF (Cali & James’ artist group) turns them into graphics. 

  

 

JW: So that’s how it differs from the product you put out with Big Love or A.Four for example? 

 

HARUKA: Yeah Society has a lot of James in it lol. His graphics are the main thing about it. Big Love stuff is always related to the store, labels, music, records and artists etc. A.FOUR has a theme every season but its more broad. 

 

 

 

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JW: What can we expect from future Society drops? Will the collection grow into other areas? 

 

HARUKA: Well we’d love to stick to signs and ads from every city we travel to. Also, Cali and James have their favourite classic American ads and tropes, and brands or band logos. Let’s see how it goes :) . I just asked Kazuki about it, he says Society is about the prints and graphics, and using three main types of items: short and long sleeve t-shirts, sweats and hoodies.

 

KAZUKI: Although I’m putting a lot of effort into producing our custom made shirts (it's a long process from picking the yarn to small size adjustments so maybe not this time [branching out into other clothing]). For the best quality, it is produced and printed in Japan. I’m thinking about doing small alterations every once in a while, like Levi’s back in the old days. It’s also something I create with three other people. A.Four is more about producing clothes, with various items.

 

 

JW: Who are some of your favourite artists?

 

HARUKA: Aside from Cali, I love working with Emma Kohlmann. She’s a painter from New York, she uses water colour and sumi ink. Mostly naked humans with blurry faces.

 

CALI: My fave artists are friends. B Thom Stevenson, Emma Kohlmann, JTD, Brendan Fowler, Sonya Cohen, Maggie Lee, Peter Sutherland, Chiro Yoshikawa, Alexis Ross etc. 

 

 

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JW: What does 2017 have in store for you both? 

 

HARUKA: Big Love will be having a lot of exhibitors/performers, and a lot of collabs coming up. I am excited to have James doing his solo show at our gallery space in April! Me personally, might DJ more and start making music! Getting back to where I came from. 

 

CALI: 2017 plans...keep training for the final battle. 

 

 

JW: Sounds great! Last question for now…anyone we should look out for in 2017? 

 

HARUKA: Tzusing! Shanghai/Taipei based industrial techno producer/DJ. He just realeased his first LP on L.I.E.S Records. Already one of the best of 2017. Me born as Asian I am happy that my Asian friends are adding ‘oriental feelings’ in the mix. I like calling myself oriental haha. 

 

 

 

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Shop Society Below 

 

 

 

 
  • Number 1 Pocket T-Shirt - White

    Society Number 1 Pocket T-Shirt - White $89.01 Small / Medium / Large / X-Large

    Number 1 Pocket T-Shirt - White

    Society
    Number 1 Pocket T-Shirt - White

    $89.01 $74.17 ex tax

    More details

  • Drugs Pocket T-Shirt - White

    Society Drugs Pocket T-Shirt - White $89.01 Small / Medium / Large / X-Large

    Drugs Pocket T-Shirt - White

    Society
    Drugs Pocket T-Shirt - White

    $89.01 $74.17 ex tax

    More details

  • Pillars LS T-Shirt - White

    Society Pillars LS T-Shirt - White $135.45 Small / Medium / Large / X-Large

    Pillars LS T-Shirt - White

    Society
    Pillars LS T-Shirt - White

    $135.45 $112.87 ex tax

    More details