Kaohsiung's 'Dome of Light' not so bright anymore

Residents and tourists complain after Kaohsiung City had the bright idea of dimming 'Dome of Light' by 25%

Kaohsiung's "Dome of Light" has become 25% dimmer to save energy. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Kaohsiung residents and tourists have complained recently that Formosa Boulevard MRT Station's "Dome of Light" (光之穹頂), which was recently listed as one of the top 10 attractions in Taiwan by international travel websites, seems to have gotten a lot dimmer lately. 

Former art director Chou Yu-chu (周渝珠) was informed by friends and relatives that in order to save power, Kaohsiung officials had dimmed many of the lights, turn off 16 pillar lamps, and stalls were added to one side, creating a dark, chaotic scene. 

The "Dome of Light" has been voted as the sixth best landmark in Taiwan by TipAdvisor and was fourth on the list of most popular attractions in Taiwan for Japanese tourists. It took Italian artist Narcissus Quagliata four and a half years and cost NT$80 million to build the 660-square-meter glass "Dome of Light," the largest glass work in the world. 

Chou also found that the installation "Condensed Beryl" by German glass artist Lutz Haufschild in Kaohsiung International Airport Station was switched off entirely. 

Artwork "Condensed Beryl" in Kaohsiung International Airport Station. (CNA image)

Chou then decided to publish an open letter to Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) to express her dissatisfaction, reported Apple Daily. In the letter, she expressed the hope that the Kaohsiung MRT would be able to maintain these hard-won assets, only worthy of Kaohsiung citizens, especially "Condensed Beryl," the maintenance of which is both simple and inexpensive with the use of LED lights and dusting with a soft cotton cloth every two or three days. 

Chou also emphasized that "Condensed Beryl" is public property, the art of the people of Kaohsiung, and should not go to waste. She believes that the Kaohsiung's citizens will understand the beauty and preciousness of the installation. 

In response, the Kaohsiung MRT said that the lights in the "Dome of Light" were dimmed by 25 percent and 16 lamp posts were turned off to save energy. Officials said the  "Condensed Beryl" sculpture had been reduced to only being displayed for 1 hour and 5 minutes, however in response to her letter, the artwork will now be lit on a regular basis. As for the "Dome of Light," it will still only be lit by 75 percent to conserve energy and the 16 lamp posts will not be switched on until energy-saving lamps are found. 

Mayor Chen said out of respect for the artistic creations, she will ask the Kaohsiung MRT to make moderate adjustments.