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



Link to photographs shot on assignment for (more…)



Mariah 陳世旻 (瑪利亞) of Chio-tian Drum Art Troupe (九天民俗技藝團)

Mariah 陳世旻 (瑪利亞) of Chio-tian Drum Art Troupe (九天民俗技藝團)

I have been travelling in Canada with my family for a couple of months and was pleased to find out my photo was used for the cover of Topics Travel and Culture issue. The article, ‘Drumming Their Way to Respect‘, is about Chio-tian Folk Drums & Art Troupe (九天民俗技藝團) — the troupe the Taiwanese movie ‘Dintao: Leader of the Parade‘ was based on.

Mariah 陳世旻 (瑪利亞) of Chio-tian Drum Art Troupe (九天民俗技藝團)

Mariah 陳世旻 (瑪利亞) of Chio-tian Drum Art Troupe (九天民俗技藝團) poses for a photo

See full post here: The Taiwan Photographer

39 Hours or Tainan Film Contestival, Tainan City, Taiwan
39 Hours or Tainan Film Contestival, Tainan City, Taiwan

39 Hours or Tainan Film Contestival, Tainan City, Taiwan

Taiwan Culture Portal – 03 July 2012

Taiwan for Culture Vultures Kindle Guide

Get the Taiwan Travel guide from Gecko authored by the prolific and highly respected Taiwan writer, Steven Crook, here:

Taiwan for Culture Vultures Kindle Guide

The cover photo of Zhenzong Art Troupe’s Santaitz and many of the interior photos were taken by me. See more of my covers here.

Taiwan for Culture Vultures  Kindle Edition

Cover Photograph by Photographer Rich Matheson

The Amazon Product Description

Taiwan for Culture Vultures
== Taiwan’s Historical, Religious, Artistic And Architectural Highlights ==

– Why Get This Guide? –

* In-depth descriptions of each sight that include fresh details not mentioned in other English-language write-ups
* Coverage of several new attractions not covered by print guidebooks
* Clear instructions how to reach each sight by car or public transportation
* Chinese script for every sight mentioned in the guide
* Convenient links take you to background information

– Inside This Guide –

* 95 sights including: Taiwan’s best museums; its most ancient and ornate temples; its newest attractions; its quaintest villages; and its most striking landmarks.
* Over 150 photos, including 84 images contributed by Taiwan-based professional photographers Rich Matheson and Craig Ferguson.
* Comprehensive articles on practical subjects such as getting to and getting around Taiwan.
* Background articles on Taiwan’s history, religions, and culture
* A glossary of historical and local terms

– Stylish and Feature-Packed –

* Detailed information on opening hours, prices, addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses
* Honest reviews and independent advice
* Inspiring gallery with stunning photos
* Stylish and easy to use

– About the Author –

Steven Crook has visited more than 40 countries, and continues to find Taiwan endlessly fascinating after 20 years living and working on the island. Since 1996, he has had scores of travel and culture features published in Christian Science Monitor, CNN Traveller Asia-Pacific and other newspapers and magazines.

Published on-line Articles

Door Gods 門神

Links to articles and photographs published in on-line magazine;, by editorial and cultural photographer Rich J Matheson.

Door Gods 門神

The highlight of writing this Door Gods article was when I serendipitously stopped at the Chendejyu Shrine (陳聚德堂; in 1693 it was the first ancestral shrine in Taiwan - built in 1664) and the caretaker ushered me inside and into a back room. There, forgotten and leaning against a wall in a dark back room of the temple were these two antique doors. I think they were painted by renowned temple painter Cai Cao Ru (蔡草如), but I need to go back and verify. The article outlines who all the different door gods are, their function and their origins.

Click to continue to articles.

New Taiwan Travel App — Taiwan for Culture Vultures

A new Taiwan Travel App from Gecko authored by the prolific and highly respected Taiwan writer, Steven Crook, has recently become available.

Taiwan for Culture Vultures Guide App

Pingtung’s Ci Feng Temple 慈鳳宮

Steven recently told me he is excited about the app because he was able to delve into attractions and topics in much more depth and breadth than was possible for his traditional print guidebook — and that no guide book can, unless you want to carry a phone book-size guidebook in your bag!  Many of the places he researched for the popular Bradt print guidebook  that he was simply unable to include, as well as places that opened after its publication, are in this app.

Yi Ming Hui (義民會) Guanjiang Shou painting his face.

Culture focus; temples, museums, architecture, gods, festivals, history…

As the title suggests, the book focuses on cultural attractions; temples, museums, architecture and the like. At $2.99 you can’t go wrong — buy it just to learn about Taiwan whether you live here, want to travel here or just want to learn about Taiwan’s art, culture and history from one of Taiwan’s most established travel writers. Also a writing coach, this erudite scribe is a pleasure to read; his writing is perceptive, sensitive, unbiased, and above all — knowledgeable.

The Door God

Have you ever wondered who those door gods are and why they are there? Find some answers here:

Door Gods -- Four Heavenly Kings and Two Great Protectors -- in Kai Yuan Temple's traditional sanchuan gate. From left to right; Guang Mu, Chi Guo , Skanda, Garan, Duo Wen and Zeng Zhang. Kai Yuan Buddhist Monastery, Tainan City, Taiwan

Door Gods

Taiwan Culture Portal – 06 December 2011

Song Jiang Zhen Photos in an Ebook, ‘T’ai Chi Ch’uan: ‘Wisdom In Action In A Chinese Martial Art’

I went to Jinluan Temple’s 金鑾宮 festival on Saturday.It was a Qing Wang ( 請王) rite where the god (Mazu, I think… although maybe it was a plague god?) was invited to oversee the proceedings leading up to the burning of the boat next year. It was successful as, at about 11:00am, the palanquin bearing Mazu rushed into the sea indicating the god had arrived.

This four person palanquin (四輪轎) carrying Lord Tiger (虎爺聖-a lesser god) didn't wait for Mazu before racing deep into the sea.

Interestingly the zhentou were predominantly Song Jiang Zhen ( 宋江陣) troupes — about ten of them. Generally in proceedings of this sort (more…)

Liuchongsi Pingpu Night Sacrifice

The Liuchongsi Pingpu Night Sacrifice was an excellent festival that I felt privileged to attend. There were few outsiders present (although everybody is welcome) and the festival had a small homey feel to it. The full article explaining the proceedings is HERE.

A wangyi performs a libation on the sacrificial pig during the Liuchongsi Night Sacrifice in Tainan.

Xiaolin Pingpu Night Sacrifice

In an earlier post I said that I would write more about the Xiaolin Pingpu Night Sacrifice. Here it is, click this link.
Taiwan Culture Portal – 02 November 2011