Joni Lee & Jia Luo

Mercury Plaza: Origins + New Beginnings

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Ever since we heard the news, many of us have been sadly anticipating the eventual closure of Mercury Plaza for the development of the City Rail Link. It has been a popular food destination over the last few decades, with historic ties to the Chinese community; the owners being some of the original Chinese fruit and vegetable shop owners on Karangahape Road.

Much like how this beloved food court has brought warmth and comfort to our bellies, we aim to use the transitional space to feed the creative cravings of the community by curating an art exhibition featuring local NZ-Chinese artists. We are lucky enough to be able to transform two major areas of Mercury Plaza - a giant wall by the entrance and the maze-like ramp access next to New Gum Sarn Supermarket.

We hope the show can act as a platform for underrepresented creative voices. There is also a need to challenge the accessibility of traditional exhibition spaces, democratising the display of art and thus bringing together visitors even more diverse than the typical gallery audience and the eclectic crowd of K Road food lovers.

Help us celebrate this iconic landmark rich with culture and fascinating individual stories, and see it evolve through the unique lens of local artists who will be exploring the theme of 'Origins and New Beginnings'.

Artists will be curated based on their proposals to apply their conceptual perspective to several art forms.



We have set our target at $3000 to ensure a higher chance of funding success. This is the bare minimum we need in order for the show to go ahead, as it will support artists with the production of their work and supply the equipment and materials needed for the exhibition (e.g. large format printing, sculptural work).

We are a team of two, volunteering our personal time to produce the show ourselves to keep costs low. That means we are responsible for everything from coordinating artists and installation to event planning and media coverage.

We aim to offer a high quality and memorable show; ideally we would like to raise an extra $2500 to cover additional artist contributions, promotional costs and our own wages as producers, which would put our total target at $5500.

Your donations would ensure that everyone in the team receives fair compensation for their work, which is a practice that we are passionate about but that is often neglected in this field, especially for those starting out in their career.



Mercury Plaza: Origins + New Beginnings is being produced and curated by Joni Lee and Jia Luo. The idea for the exhibition has developed around their wish to pay homage to an iconic space like Mercury Plaza, and also celebrate a new beginning in the area. This also ties in with the opportunity to offer local emerging Chinese artists a platform to express their personal beliefs, origin stories and visions for the future.

JONI is a part-time piñata maker with an interest in interactive art. He comes from a background of dual cultural influences and wishes to see more art by Asian diaspora within the local NZ context. It is through contributing to community projects that he aims to illuminate the experiences of navigating life in a cultural melting pot.

JIA holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Elam and bases her creative practice in public art and placemaking. She is dedicated to making art accessible for everyone, and to encouraging society to value the arts through creative interventions in public spaces. Her most recent community project involves a dog obstacle course built from scratch in Basque Park, Eden Terrace for Auckland Placemaking Week.



Instagram - for updates and behind the scenes goodness!


  • 2 Weeks to go!

    3 DAYS AGO

    We're half way there! A big big THANK YOU to our donors, we appreciate your generosity so much! Rest assured we're working hard to bring you an awesome show.

    Our Boosted campaign closes in two weeks and we must reach our target before the art can be produced. We want to give artists and audiences alike the chance to connect with this space before it disappears. Help us get there by continuing to spread the word!

    We've been blown away by the quality of artist submissions and have had a tough time narrowing them down. We can't wait for you to meet our diverse group of exhibiting artists, so keep an eye out for their introductions on Instagram.

    In the mean time, here is our talented lineup:

    Ant Sang

    Ross Liew

    Tim Lambourne

    Ruby White

    Lindsay Yee

    Jia Luo

    Min Huey Pon

    Norman Wei

    Lisa Li

    Frankie Tui

    Diana Hu

    Mona Cui

    Qian-Ye Lin


    Hold tight for our next update!

    - Joni and Jia