Auckland eatery Mercury Plaza debuts special art exhibition - months before it shuts its doors for good

The food court of the iconic Auckland eatery Mercury Plaza has been transformed - mere months before it shuts its doors for good to make way for the City Rail Link

Fourteen Chinese artists have helped create a special art exhibition, celebrating the site's history as well as its future. 

It's almost the end of an era for Mercury Plaza, an institution that's been feeding hungry punters for 25 years.

A group of artists are making sure its legacy lasts a little bit longer.

"For me, it's paying tribute to a place and paying tribute to the people who made the place," says artist Ross Liew.

'Mercury Plaza: Origins and New Beginnings' has been a labour of love for all involved. 

Many of the food court staples haven't changed since opening in 1994. 

It seems everyone has a story about the Mercury Plaza. It's even a popular spot for the All Blacks.

"It's such an establishment, the relationships here are quite deep and go far back," says co-producer Jia Luo. 

Luo hopes when people visit for one last bite, they takeaway more than just the cuisine.

"[I hope] they see us represent ourselves instead of accepting labels that are given to us," says Luo.

Paper-mache balls are another feature. All five are filled with objects and when the show closes, they will be broken apart like a pinata.

Heralding the future, in line with ancient Chinese tradition. 

"I'm looking forward to what's going to replace it and what that new face of Auckland city is going to look like," says artist Ruth Woodbury.

It's a bittersweet moment for Liew, but he's making the most of the nostalgia while he can.

"There's a special aspect to it for sure and I feel a little bit warm about it," says Liew.

The show is running for a month before Mercury Plaza closes for good at the end of October.


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