The origins of the images were quickly uncovered: The man in the photographs is Chinese performance artist Zhu Yu, who staged a conceptual shock piece called "Eating People" at a Shanghai arts festival in 2000. Maintaining that "No religion forbids cannibalism, nor can I find any law which prevents us from eating people," Zhu Yu acted out a performance in which he appeared to eat a stillborn or aborted child (likely constructed by placing a doll's head on a duck's carcass) and said that he "took advantage of the space between morality and the law and based my work on it."
The controversial photographs have since been part of a number of art exhibits and caused another stir in 2003 when they were aired on television in the UK as part of the Beijing Swings documentary...
January 18, 2014
"The photographs" — shown here — "were taken seriously by a number of law enforcement agencies who viewed them, and both Scotland Yard and the FBI investigated this matter, trying to determine when and where the pictures were taken and the identities of those appearing in them."