Chinese paper cutting is an ancient folk art that has been around for thousands of years. Seen here is one of the five oldest paper cutouts discovered in a Xinjiang archeology site (where is Xinjiang?). It is dated back to the Southern and Northern dynasties (486-581).
I am amazed by the beauty of the geometric, symmetrical, and complex design in this very early paper cutout. The tool used to make it appears to be capable of fairly detail cutting, such as the teeth on the outer edge. And folding also seems clearly utilized to create the pattern.
Source: Berliner, Nancy Zheng. Chinese Folk Art, Canada: Little, Brown and Company, 1986.