FIRSTLAPSE’s Henrik Matzen: Introducing Taiwan to the World

Henrik Matzen and his partner, Jonas Hoholt, are the geniuses behind “A Taste of Taiwan.” The video launched Henrik to national recognition and appreciation for his unique art and contribution to Taiwan. He selflessly donated his time to produce the video to share with the world. While his stays in Taiwan are temporary, he exemplifies the vast majority of foreigners living here who contribute positively in many ways.

Fact: It took 3 months and 30,000 photos out of 70,000 shot to create “A Taste of Taiwan.”

My Kaohsiung was fortunate to spend some time with Henrik in Tainan, while he was shooting another time lapse video of sunset over a salt field. We want to share his personal insights about Taiwan and, in particular, Kaohsiung.

Henrik is from Denmark and worked in the Information Technology field. His passion for photography has presented him opportunities to photograph professionally. Like an artist, he experimented with a new medium and found that there was a lot of interest in time lapse photography. He perfected his technique blending composition, timing, and motion. He also uses various filters and high-end equipment to create Ultra High Definition 4K quality videos. FIRSTLAPSE’s videos are best seen on a 4K-capable TV or monitor.


My Kaohsiung: You started coming to Taiwan 13 years ago and you shared the “Taste of Taiwan” to show your love for Taiwan. At what point or event made you fall in love with Taiwan?

Henrik: Basically on my first business trip in 2005 where I took the first step into Chiang Kai Shek (CKS) Airport after landing – yes, it is that many years ago, before it was renamed to Taoyuan Airport 😊 The scent of the airport somehow made me feel like home… it is very hard to describe, but I just felt like I had been here before. Everything seemed very new to me, and it was a different world, but somehow I just knew I had to come back for more.

The scent of the airport somehow made me feel like home… it is very hard to describe.

My Kaohsiung: You have traveled quite a bit, but why Taiwan? Why not other Asian countries to call your “second home.”

Henrik: Only Taiwan somehow makes me feel calm and relaxed when I am here. I believe it also comes down to the many friendships I have made with Taiwanese people – but whenever I have been traveling or staying a bit in other Asian countries nearby, it always just feels like home in Taiwan when I am back.

Taiwan somehow makes me feel calm and relaxed when I am here. I believe it also comes down to the many friendships I have made with Taiwanese people.

My Kaohsiung: What was the most difficult shoot so far and why?

Henrik: That was probably while we were shooting the opening sequence for “European Capital of Culture” in Aarhus, Denmark. It was a huge outdoor event with masses of people and a very packed and timed schedule, and although we had access to different rooftops and we were 2 people to shoot it, we only had one shot, one change – and had to move between locations – no fails was allowed. We did it, but it was very exhausting. 😊

My Kaohsiung: What is the secret to your photography? What makes you different from others?

Henrik: I think only the time lapse part makes me different, because except having the passion for photography you also need extreme patience to endure that.

My Kaohsiung: Since we are based in Kaohsiung, what is your impression of Kaohsiung City?

Henrik: Kaohsiung is a very warm and friendly city. Love the temperature, the atmosphere and that everything is wider and more spacious there. There is a lot of beauty surrounding Kaohsiung, so I always love coming back. I can see that it has developed a lot the last 10 years, having more fancy restaurants and coffee shops now, turning more international.

My Kaohsiung: What are some places you haven’t shot, that you hope to in the future?

Henrik: I can not reveal all in public, as we have some projects on our to-do list where we want to be the first. But in Taiwan I still hope to make it back to Alishan for shooting a powerful sunrise one day, which I have never did yet.

Wiki Commons Photo

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[Taiwan], keep being yourself, stay positive and friendly, keep cooking the most delicious food in the world – support startup companies and do welcome foreigners and tourists to Taiwan to bring some better economy to the country again. Not all foreigners are bad. 😊

Henrik Matzen

Follow Henrik on his journey


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