but as we looked it suddenly began to change

Wei-Ling Contemporary is proud to present ‘but as we looked it suddenly began to change’, an innovative and collaborative project by acclaimed British artist Adam Chodzko. The exhibition features Chodzko’s selected recent and new works, including videos, drawings, and process-based sculpture.

Taking as its focus the structures of dreams, their visuality and fluid ambiguities of time and place, and a coexistence of multiple states, Chodzko’s exhibition is an experiment to embody the nocturnal consciousness we all activate during sleep. According to contemporary neuroscience, dreaming functions as a kind of “backwards Google search… using a bizarre algorithm…”, an odd archiving process that is by nature diverse, inclusive, and experimental.

Chodzko’s interest in exploring this subject in Malaysia comes from his research into the cultural practices of the Senoi people, one of Malaysia’s indigenous Orang Asli communities, who are renowned for their exceptional relationship with the dream state. Chodzko’s project, which is supported by The British Council’s Connections Through Culture Programme, aims to address the under-explored subject of dreaming in the Western world and to bridge this cultural gap by offering a collaborative and immersive visual experience that makes use of dreaming’s networking and therapeutic potential. Connections Through Culture is the British Council’s arts collaboration and mobility grant program, which aims to seed and facilitate cultural exchanges between the United Kingdom and Southeast Asia.

“We are very pleased to see that, through the support of our Connections Through Culture grant programme, Adam was able to research the cultural practice of the Senoi people,” said Florence Lambert, Head of Arts and Creative Industries at the British Council Malaysia.

“The collaboration allowed Adam to spend time learning from the community, integrate this knowledge and practice into his work, and the result will be showcased to the Malaysian audience with not only an exhibition, but with talks and workshops. This is an amazing opportunity for two distant worlds to come closer, understand, and learn from each other.” reiterated Lambert.

Lambert further emphasised that this exchange would be a significant contribution to sharing Malaysia’s rich cultural diversity with the UK’s Art sector when Adam shares his immersive Malaysian experience with audiences in the UK.

By promoting collaboration, the project not only provides a singular visual encounter but also creates a platform for emotional healing and personal growth through the exploration of the dream state.

Paralleling the exhibition ‘but as we looked it suddenly began to change’, Chodzko is conducting a series of discussions and interviews with a diverse group of Malaysian artists, makers, thinkers, and anthropologists to create guidance for his new major project in the UK, Growing Our Dream Ecologies. This project will use Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to visually animate the British community’s dream descriptions.

The artist’s avant-garde method of investigating dreams allows the audience to discuss and reflect on their nocturnal subconscious. Each ethereal element of ‘but as we looked it suddenly began to change’ shows the vast amount of time, craftsmanship, and conceptual rigour that Chodzko puts into his execution, inviting the audience to engage with the work on various levels, whether through close observation or critical contemplation.

but as we looked it suddenly began to change‘ is featured at Wei-Ling Contemporary from 12th – 27th May 2023. October – 18 November 2021.

Wei-Ling Contemporary is located at 2nd Floor, Wei-Ling Gallery Annexe, No 8, Jalan Scott, Brickfields, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Admission hours are Tuesday – Friday 10am – 6pm, Saturday 10am – 5pm.

Exhibition is open by appointment only. For appointments and further assistance, please contact +60322601106 or e-mail siewboon@weiling-gallery.com


Adam Chodzko is a UK based artist working across media, exploring our conscious and unconscious behaviour, social relations and collective imaginations through artworks that are propositions for alternative forms of ‘social media.’ Exhibiting work nationally and internationally since 1991, his work speculates how, through the visual, we might best connect with others; ‘How might we perceive better’?

Since 1991 Chodzko has exhibited extensively in international solo and group exhibitions including: Tate Britain; Tate, St Ives; Raven Row, London; Museo d’Arte Moderna, Bologna (MAMBo); The Benaki Museum, Athens; Athens Biennale, Istanbul Biennale, Venice Biennale; Royal Academy, London; Deste Foundation, Athens; PS1, NY; Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, Kunstmuseum Luzern etc. Recent projects include commissions by Creative Time, New York, The Contemporary Art Society, Wellcome Trust, Frieze Art Fair, and Hayward Gallery.

Chodzko has been included in many British Council curated international exhibitions of British Art, from General Release (1995) at the Venice Biennale, to Micro/Macro: British Art 1996-2002,(2003), Mucsarnok Kunsthalle, Budapest, Breaking Step (2007), Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade and Private Utopia (2014), Japan.

In 2002 he received awards from the Hamlyn Foundation and the Foundation for Contemporary Art, New York, and in 2007 was awarded an AHRC Research Fellowship in the Film Department at the University of Kent, Canterbury. In 2015 Chodzko was shortlisted for the Jarman Awards. In 2016 he received a DACS Art360 Award.

Chodzko’s work is in the collections of the Tate, The British Council, The British Film Institute, The Arts Council, APT, Auckland City Art Gallery, Contemporary Art Society Collection, The Creative Foundation, Frac Languedoc-Rousillon, GAM – Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Turin, Grizedale Arts, MAMBo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, Plains Arts Museum, North Dakota, USA, Saatchi Collection, South London Gallery, Towner Gallery Eastbourne, Wellcome Collection and international private collections.

He has lectured and, or, tutored at numerous Higher and Further Education institutions internationally including, in the UK; Central Saint Martins, Chelsea College of Arts, Slade School of Fine Art, Goldsmiths University of London, University for the Creative Arts, Sheffield Hallam University, and Ruskin College, Oxford. In the US: Carnegie Mellon University, Rutgers University. In Canada: Banff Centre. Chodzko is part of Double Agents, a Research group based at Central Saint Martins College of Art. He was Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at the University of Kent from 2014-2018.


The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We support peace and prosperity by building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and countries worldwide. We do this through our work in arts and culture, education and the English language. We work with people in over 200 countries and territories and are on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2021–22 we reached 650 million people.

In 2023, the British Council in Malaysia is marking its 75th anniversary, celebrating our commitment to building connections between the UK and Malaysia.

Connections Through Culture is British Council’s arts collaboration and mobility grant, a programme to seed cultural exchanges between the United Kingdom and Southeast Asia.