Imagine. Play. Discover.

Learn more about who we are and why…

Our Mission

To Tell Stories Which Inspire Compassion

Ukiyo is a Brunswick-based creative studio that has been pushing the boundaries of interactive storytelling since 2016. While our installations transport visitors to other worlds, Ukiyo values the meaning behind its exhibits above all else.

Ukiyo is named after the urban art culture of Edo period Japan, translated as literally “the floating world”. At Ukiyo in Melbourne the immersive ‘floating worlds’ we create are lovingly crafted universes that you can journey to and explore with your friends.

By using the medium of play we hope to facilitate a fresh perspective on the issues of grief, otherness, and communication. Our goal is to provide new perspectives in a safe and nurturing space.


The Dreamers

Meet the minds behind Ukiyo

Michael Armstrong

○ Creative Director

Michael’s passion for story worlds was ignited at 5 years old, nose deep in The Lord of the Rings, with a parental rule (and thus a challenge to overcome), that he was not allowed to watch the movies until he had read them. Since then, he has been passionate about Studio Ghibli, The Legend of Zelda and an array of literary works and foreign films. He has always been passionate about the power of storytelling and the power of art.

“If we can tap into the imagination of our inner child we can inspire others to do the same. I think that’s a worthy dream that we can work together to build.”

Jack Nolan

○ Art & Experience Director

With 11 years experience as a professional visual effects artist and a Bachelors in Interactive Entertainment, Jack has finally proven to his parents that playing video games was not a waste of time.

Jack hopes to create installations which invite their visitors to leave their normal lives behind, and step into a land of fantasy. By sharing his love of adventure and new experiences, Jack finds his happiness in the happiness of others

“Life is not a problem to solve, but a reality to experience.”


The Local Talent that brings our Exhibits to Life

Junko Azukawa

Junko Azukawa grew up at the base of the Japanese Alps, a region famous for the natural beauty of its landscape.

She started learning traditional Japanese calligraphy at the age of five and has spent her life exploring the expressions of simple brush strokes.

Sumi-e Ink Master

Russell Tay

As an artist Russell was classically trained from childhood, he holds a Bachelor of Music with first class honours in Jazz Piano Performance from the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music where he also received an Honours Merit Scholarship and claimed the prize for the best overall graduate

Jazz Pianist & Composer


Niklas Pajanti is an award-winning lighting designer whose practice ranges across contemporary art forms and performance styles including theatre, dance, opera, circus, musical theatre, comedy, events, exhibitions and public spaces.

Lighting Designer


 Jacqueline brought the universe of The Crumbling Prince to life, from a sketch all the way to a breathing world. With a broad range of conceptual and practical skills, she blends the physical and digital spheres.

Production Designer

Paul Lim

Paul’s lighting designs have been seen in Australia, UK, Ireland, Germany, France, USA, Canada, China, India and New Zealand.

Paul has a keen interest in emerging technologies and how they can be integrated with live performance. He uses his multi-faceted knowledge to provide integrated solutions in theatres, festivals and events around the world.

Lighting Designer

Maddison Haywood

Maddison is an APDG award nominated production designer and prop maker based in Melbourne. She specialises in making weird and wonderful custom props and designing film sets. Fake food is Maddison’s not-so-secret passion. She sculpts life-like food for art, film and visual merchandising. 

A crafter and animator, Maddison creates from her imagination.

Production Designer

Robert Mackenzie

Robert specialises in making dreams into reality, bringing together the often competing worlds of the dreamer and the realist.

With decades of experience in film set construction, Robert can build practically anything. Himself an avid traveller and seeker of new experiences, Robert brings an excitement to every project that sparks magic.

Design Realisation Manager

Natasha i'Anson

Natasha grew up dreaming, drawing and making basically anything from fabrics. She formalised these skills with at RMIT University before meeting Michael and bringing the Ukiyo world to life with cast-mould, costume and sculpture.

Distancing herself from industry, she prefers collaborating with other passionate professionals and teaching her skills to others.

Costume Designer & Sculptor



With Dreams Of Their Own

Something that needs to be experienced to be understood…