I was just reading a great post from holly at decor about an ancient Japanese art of paper folding and cutting called Kirigami. Kirigami is a variation of origami where the artist is allowed to make small cuts in the paper (from Japanese "Kiru" = to cut, "gami" = paper). This enables the artist to enhance the visual presentation of the artwork, at the expense of simplicity. In traditional origami, cutting the paper is strictly prohibited.
Kirigami is usually made when certain folds are made in the paper to make a base, or the model without the cuts in it. Then, cuts are made in the base. When all the cuts are made, the base is opened out and flattened to make the finished kirigami. Usually symmetrical objects are made, such as snowflakes, pentagrams, or orchid blossoms. Who knew that those cute little snowflakes your kids come home with from school around the holidays is actually an important Asian tradition of art making!
holly posted a great link to a Kirigami artist named Kanako Yaguchi. If you fly over to her site she has beautiful work to show and these great flash diagrams: