Photographs and Information about Taiwan's Culture, Nature and People by Rich Matheson

Interview with My Several Worlds’ Carrie Kallenberger

Carrie Kellenberger recently interviewed me for My Several Worlds. Beyond being incredibly flattered that anyone would interview me, I also found it to be an interesting introspective into where I have been photographically and where I want to go. The interview can be found here: MSW Interviews: Rich Matheson – Cultural and Editorial Photographer in Taiwan

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Me and my Nikon FM2, Kai Yuan Monastery. Tainan. 1991 Photo: Jenny Young

Oh, the hair!

My family: Alas, Vaji and Vilian, Sz Cao Beach, Tainan. Sep. 2009

I had to find some favorite photos as well as some photos of myself — not always easy for photographers.An older favorite. This place is special to me. I vividly remember a tiring ride up the South Cross Island Highway and arriving here for sunrise. I cracked a can of Mr. Brown as the sun gave the clouds a silver lining and bathed the misty drainage in a golden glow. A day of photography had begun. It ran as a full page lede for Steven Crook’s ‘Cruising East, across Taiwan’s South’, in Verve’s April 2002 issue –my first of three enjoyable South Cross assignments and one of many trips. Fuji Velvia and a horrible home scan, circa 2002.

(I mixed these two captions up for Carrie’s interview)I never realized until now that I stopped at the same spot some years earlier during a solo bike trip on a yet-to-be-paved South Cross Island Highway. No vehicles had been through for quite some time due to a landslide, but I was able to pick up my Taiwan bought Merida and carry it over the offending landslide.
1991 (with point and shoot camera)

In retrospect, this series was a defining moment for my photography, which (for lack of something less tacky sounding) helped me realize our common humanity. This Dang-ki was pretty hard core and I was loving the colors, tattoos, crowd interaction and the sheer intensity of the scene. I sat down and chatted with him for a bit as he cleaned the blood from his face, took some awkward snaps, and waved goodbye. I have since realized connecting with, and trying to understand and portray my subject as honestly as possible is my goal. My sincerest hope is that I may portray my subjects in a respectful and dignified manner. Photos of people covered in blood hitting themselves with weapons could indeed lead to harmful misconceptions. Probably taken 2005-ish with my Nikon8008s.

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