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Fri, Mar 23, 2001 - Page 2 News List

Baby-eating photos are part of Chinese artist's performance

STAFF WRITER

Following the publication of an article in a Malaysian weekly tabloid that alleged a Taiwanese restaurant served the meat of human infants, the Taiwan government has taken steps to ensure the publisher prints a retraction.

Yuan Kai-sheng (袁凱聲), a Government Information Office (GIO) official, said the government had filed a complaint with the Perdana newspaper and requested that a correction be published. He said the tabloid had apologized to the GIO for publishing the story.

The offending article was first made public on Wednesday by People First Party Legislator Chin Huei-chu (秦慧珠).

The pictures were in fact part of a performance by Shanghai-based artist Zhu Yu (朱昱), entitled Man-eater (食人).

However, Perdana's news story claimed that the photos were of a Taiwanese restaurant in which human fetuses are served to customers.

Zhu has created a series of art performances entitled Infatuation on Injures (對傷害的迷戀) -- among them are the works he named Man-eater and Canned human brains (罐裝腦漿).

The Chinese-language press quoted Zhu as saying during an interview on Wednesday that he intended to discuss life and death through his works.

By eating six-month-old human fetuses obtained from abortions, he posed a challenge to traditional ethics, he maintained to the press.

Born in 1970, Zhu said that he wanted to know if we could change our human culture in which we fear death and pursue eternal life.

To create Man-eater, he said he cooked the corpses of babies that had been stolen from a medical school.

Zhu admitted that the meat obtained from the bodies tasted bad, and said he had vomited several times while eating it. However, he said, he had to do so "for art's sake."

Though his works have sparked criticism, Zhu has achieved fame within China's avant-garde art circles.

In another work, Canned human brains, Zhu immersed human brains in glass jars, which also caused a stir.

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