Some residents and travelers may have noticed that one of Kaohsiung’s tourist attractions, the “Dome of Light” at the Formosa Boulevard Station (美麗島), isn’t as bright as it once was.
Former art director Chou Yu-chu (周渝珠) noticed that the public art display had lost its luminescence and wrote a letter to Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) expressing concern that the MRT was damaging the reputation of the tourist attraction in order to save electricity, UDN reported. Chou said that with dimmer lighting and all the booths and vendors surrounding the area, the public art space appears messy.
Chou noted that Kaohsiung International Airport Station’s “Condensed Beryl” by German glass artist Lutz Haufschild also had its lights extinguished entirely. The artist even expressed concern because the art was covered in dust and dull so that it looked like a plastic plate.
16 lamps have been turned off at the Dome of Light, which the MRT claims reduces electricity consumption by 25%. Mayor Chen said that the city will respect the art but continue to strive for energy efficiency. She added that lighting has returned to “Condensed Beryl.”
The Dome of Light is reportedly the largest public glass work of art in the world at 30 meters in diameter. Italian artist Narcissus Quagliata designed the 660-sqm work for the station, which was installed in 2008. It took Quagliata four and a half years to complete the work, according to Atlas Obscura.
The Dome of Light was the fourth most popular tourist attraction for Japanese visitors to Taiwan, according to an H.I.S. survey.