“Swallowed Whole,” 2014

Single channel HD video, color, stereo, 4:00 min.

“Swallowed Whole” is a somber, animated, experimental film about surviving extreme isolation and physical limitations as a result of traumatic injury. This abbreviated, jarring journey explores the physical and psychological landscapes of hospitalization and recovery. Edited to emphasize the physical impact of dropping, crashing, and slamming, the film repeats vertical frame-rolls from analog TV to metaphorically replay the impact that literally broke the filmmaker’s back.

Watch the video: https://vimeo.com/79313182

Additional documentation: http://heidikumao.net/projects/swallowed-whole/
“Egress,” 2014,

Detail from video installation, 6:17 min. loop

Mixed media video installation: books, video projector, media player, speakers, 84 x 140 x 192 inches.

Women stifled under an authoritarian regime reclaim self-determination by reading banned books to create their own reality from books' -- and even pages' -- physicality.

Video documentation: https://vimeo.com/99893840

Additional documentation: http://heidikumao.net/projects/egress-2/
"Protest," 2005-17

Kinetic sculpture: Aluminum girl's legs, shoes, cafe table, glass top, motors, custom electronics.

A motorized pair of girl's legs takes the emotional temperature of the room and makes her presence known through loud (she's wearing tap shoes) and erratic stomping.


"Resist," 2002-15

Girl's shoes, aluminum, motors, customized electronics, proximity sensor, wood and plexiglass platform.

A machine portrait: motion-activated 6-year-old girl's legs. As viewers approach her, the legs begin a series of random behaviors from imperceptible movement to violent and fast kicking. Her actions leave permanent marks on the floor.


"Arctic Circle Research Expedition," 2013

Photographs, video, audio, and animations

"Back Brace Self-portraits," 2011-12

Digital photographs.

"Transplant," 2010

Mixed media video installation: glass bell jar, paper tag, magnets, steel tables, media player w/SD card, video projector, speakers, approx. 72 x 72 x 96 inches, 3:30 min. loop

This piece explores the lives of Japanese nationals and citizens who were interned in War Relocation Centers and how they cultivated gardens as a creative outlet to survive their confinement. Movie is projected onto a bell jar/paper tag and the wall behind it.

Video documentation:

Additional documentation: http://heidikumao.net/projects/transplant-2010/
"Tether," 2010,

Detail of video sculpture
Mixed media: glass case, painted bell jar, picture frame, glass and paper, DVD movie w/audio, DVD player, video projector, approx.: 36 x 28 x 30 inches, 2:45 min. loop.

“Tether” explores the medical condition known as “Locked-in Syndrome” as described in the book, “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.”

Video documentation: http://vimeo.com/10355225

Additional documentation: http://heidikumao.net/projects/tether-2010/
"Correspondence," 2008

Mixed media video installation: bell jar, envelope, wood table, glass table, metal table, DVD w/audio, DVD player, video projector, approx. overall dimensions: 84 x 96 x 96 inches. 3:30 min loop.

“Correspondence” is loosely based on the lives of Nelson Mandela and Terry Anderson, who both wrote while imprisoned.

"Translator," 2008

Kinetic video sculpture: aluminum legs, plexiglas screen, steel, chain, two video projectors, two miniature chairs, two DVD players, two DVDs, two 7-foot long tables, approx. 72 x 42 x 168 inches.

Viewers hand crank the chain mechanism and drive the girl from one armchair to the other. Like a child caught between two feuding parents or a political mediator, she becomes the site of exchange, physically embodying the conversation.

Video documentation: http://vimeo.com/24057829

Additional documentation:

"Ann Arbor Film Festival Trailer," 2015

30 second animated trailer created with Collin McRae-Leix.

Video is here.